FabLab grand opening
The grand opening of the FabLab in Jackson County took place Thursday.
Students in Jackson County will be able to think, create, and innovate at the new FabLab facility. FabLab Manager Scott Beebe envisioned the $1.6 million investment a year and a half ago when he filled out a grant to Chevron. “Chevron decided to do 10 FabLabs across the country and fund those. So, $12 million they invested back into the community. We were lucky enough to be awarded the grant.”
The 3,200 square foot building has laser engravers, vinyl cutters, 3D printers, and so much more. Vancleave High School Principal John Mundy believes the students in Jackson County have endless possibilities to what they can create at the facility. “If you can imagine it, you can come here and create it, make it, mold it, cut it, and design it, the whole aspect.”
The new facility will open doors for students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, also known as the STEAM program. “Traditionally in school you learn knowledge. You learn answers to questions. There’s very little application because we don’t have the resources. This is the resource.”
Chevron Public and Government Affairs Manager Alan Sudduth said, “What we are hoping to do here is that we are not just building a workforce, we are building future innovators and inventors.”
Vancleave High School Senior Bradley Farabee has worked on projects in the FabLab and will help students manage the equipment. He thinks this will be a great opportunity for students to figure out what they want to do for a career. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but this is truly going to help people understand what they want to do when they get older.”