Stanislaus State has been awarded a $150,000 California State University Hispanic-Serving Institution grant intended to expand technology, resources and programs in the recently opened Warrior Fab Lab.
The overall goal of the grant is to promote innovation and inspiration on campus and within the broader community. To do this, the funds will be used to purchase upgraded equipment for the digital fabrication lab and offer programs for area K-12 students and teachers.
“I chose this grant because it aligned well with what we’re trying to do with the Fab Lab, which is create a community with more equitable access to technology for all students,” said Associate Professor of Art Jake Weigel, who oversees the lab and secured the grant.
Weigel plans to use the grant funds to upgrade the lab’s technology to provide more options for students, staff and faculty. Some of these new additions will include an upgraded 3D printer, 360 degree cameras and an upgrade to the current virtual reality system. Weigel hopes this will enhance the experience for problem solving creative innovation and critical thinking.
Grant funds will also be used to take Fab Lab programs into the community to spark innovation and assist teachers and students at local elementary, middle and high schools.
“What this grant will really allow us to do is provide summer camps for K-12 students and teachers,” Weigel said. “We can help them determine what equipment would be important for their schools to have. They can add to their curriculum by testing out the equipment or understanding what equipment works for them.”
Securing the grant represents an important step for the digital fabrication lab after its opening earlier this fall. An increase in resources will create opportunities for every department on campus to experiment and develop curriculum in new ways . Agriculture, business administration and computer science are a few of the departments that have taken the opportunity to use the lab’s resources.
Weigel encourages any professor to visit the lab and see what it can do for them and their students.
“When this idea first came about, it was to make it available to anybody. I'm still figuring out how certain departments could use the Fab Lab more, but I know that every department could use it,” Weigel said. “Whether it's just a little bit of brainstorming or for research. I think there's absolutely something for everybody here.”
Weigel believes the Warrior Fab Lab will prove to not only be an important educational tool, but will also serve as a space to encourage personal and creative growth. Students can use the lab to challenge themselves, experiment with new ideas and practice solutions to prepare them for life after college, he said.
“The potential for this lab is endless and it has proven to be a worthy addition to Stanislaus State.”