New Fabrication Lab. WAYNESBURG – With the new fabrication lab at Intermediate Unit 1’s Waynesburg campus, students are encouraged to use their imaginations to make anything they can think of.
It’s made normally shy students more outgoing and those with behavioral issues calm down, all while they learn STEM principles.
Waynesburg’s fab lab is IU1’s third, with another at the Colonial campus in Fayette County and a mobile fab lab that travels to school districts throughout Washington, Greene and Fayette counties. The Waynesburg campus in EverGreene Technology Park, unveiled to the public Thursday morning, was built in part with a $200,000 grant from Chevron.
Students, administrators, community leaders and Chevron representatives all celebrated the opening with tours and student demonstrations. The hands-on approach, IU1 Waynesburg Principal Kristin Szewczyk said, is how their students learn best.
The benefit of the lab, which contains 3D printers, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, heat press and other fabrication tools, was best illustrated by the students themselves.
Born with technology in their hands, this type of work comes naturally to students, Szewczyk said. Students often are teaching the staff.
“The possibilities are endless,” she said. “We are truly making a difference in the lives of our students.”
Seventh-grader Cristian Rychtarsky was especially excited to show visitors around the lab.
“This place is a world where you can express your imagination. All this technology that you can easily use,” he said during the grand opening ceremony. “You can basically build anything, as long as it’s small enough. … This is an amazing place.”
Before, during and after remarks from those involved in the project, students were buzzing about the lab, laser cutting glasses with their school logos, using the 3D printers and creating designs on computers. Wooden calendars and centerpieces were on display to commemorate the event.