Oct 13, 2015
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After the grand opening last month of the Richmond Fab Lab at Kennedy High — the largest K-12 digital fabrication lab in the U.S. — a truck that will be used to transport the advanced technologies to schools throughout West County has become the center of attention.

Chevron, which funded the state-of-the-art Richmond Fab Lab in partnership with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) and Fab Foundation, has launched the Mobile Fab Lab Design Challenge with help from the Richmond Art Center.

This week, the Richmond Art Center is set to launch a five-school tour where it will hold workshops with district students to help create the artwork that will wrap around the Mobile Fab Lab’s trailer. The first stop of the tour is Thursday at Lupine Hills Elementary in Hercules, 6 p.m. The full schedule of stops is listed at the bottom of this story.

Students from K-12 are invited to create a colorful image for the truck that depicts STEM-related ideas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). No artistic ability is required, and multiple entries from every grade level will be chosen and merged into one design, organizers said. One of the Art Center’s teaching artists, Alex Wang, is tasked with creating a design that incorporates all of the winning submissions.

The deadline to submit design ideas for the Mobile Fab Lab is Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. For additional information or to request a submission form for the Design Challenge, contact Drew Kravin at akravin@wccusd.net.

“We’re excited to sponsor the Mobile Fab Lab Design Challenge” said Andrea Bailey, community engagement manager of the Chevron Richmond Refinery. “It’s a great opportunity for kids to integrate STEM into art.”

Access to a comprehensive Fab Lab will allow district students to innovate, design and produce pretty much anything using advanced technologies such as 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters, a mini-mill and more, according to the district.

The goal is to provide students with hands-on learning experiences that spark an interest in STEM subjects, which will prepare them for jobs of the future.

The Richmond Art Center’s free workshops for the Design Challenge will be held:

  • Thursday, October 15 : Lupine Hills Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 20: Coronado Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Thursday, October 22: Richmond High School, Library, 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Thursday, November 5: Helms Middle School, Multipurpose Room, 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Saturday, November 14: Kennedy High School, Rooms 401 and 402, 10:00am to 11:30am


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.