Somerville, MA — The City of Somerville and the Somerville Public Schools will host the grand opening of FabVille, a publicly run Fabrication Laboratory known as “Fab Lab” on Wednesday, October 12 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The Somerville community is invited to the open house event which will include a tour of the facility, located in the Center for Career and Technical Education at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue). Register for this free event at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fabville-grand-opening-tickets-27708868973.
Similar to a makerspace, a Fab Lab is a facility with the purpose of educating the public in digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting. Fab Labs grew out of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms’ “How to Make Almost Anything” course and are now a global movement with Fab Labs all over the world.
FabVille will be integrated into the high school’s Center for Career and Technical Education’s (CTE) regular vocational programming, adding elements of prototyping and digital fabrication to its career tracks. After the school day FabVille will be open to entrepreneurs looking to work on individual projects, non-profits seeking to run educational programming, and Somerville residents of all ages and skill levels who wish to learn something new. Think of it as a public “labrary”!
After-school programming will begin this fall and will feature a youth entrepreneurship program operated by Davis Square tech incubator Canopy City. Somerville non-profit Sprout & Co. will also offer a basic tool and safety training program that will be open to the public.
“Technology is a crucial part of 21st Century learning,” stated Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Fabville will not only give our students the opportunity to explore the world of digital fabrication technology, but will also grant that experience to our entire community.”
“We’re excited to offer our students and the entire Somerville community this great resource — a place to connect, learn, create, and gain critical skills using cutting-edge technology,” said Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper. “This project is the result of a community-wide vision and a firm commitment to partnerships that not only ensures Somerville remains on the frontier of innovation, but also provides our students with real-world experiences and connections.”
The open house will include a welcome by Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper, Secretary of Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Jay Ash, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Jim Peyser, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Ronald Walker II, Fab Foundation President and Executive Director Sherry Lassiter, Somerville High School Headmaster John Oteri, and Somerville High School CTE Director Leo DeSimone. There will be a tour showcasing the high school’s new advanced manufacturing equipment, as well as information on how organizations and residents can take advantage of the facility. Snacks will be provided.
Entrances to the Fab Lab are located at the atrium of the high school, the building closest to the Central Library. FabVille is in the basement of the Center for Career and Technical Education in the school’s former autobody shop.
The project is partially funded by a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development’s Urban Agenda Implementation grant award of $200,000. The Fab Foundation, a MIT affiliated non-profit with the mission of expanding Fab Labs globally, also donated equipment to the project.