Who? Project and campaign launched by the winners of the 'Toys Revival' Competition, and with that a 3D printer, currently students at the European School of Brussels I.
From left to right: Florine, Maxine, Charlotte, Maxim, Ivo, Blaise, Mathieu, Margerie, Mr. Theunissen, Gaëtan, the packet in the centre is the 3D printer we have won
What? We want to first create a FabLab, or fabrication laboratory, at the European School of Brussels 1. A FabLab is an open space specialised in digital fabrication. We would then publish a viable model for FabLabs for education. Finally we are currently discussing with different organisations about using this pilot project as an example for an european FabLab implementation program in schools.
FabLab Waag Society, Amsterdam
Why? During the competition "Toys Revival" we had access to a FabLab, and it is here that we realised that these kind of activities linked to technology and the world of today, are missing in school curricula. This is what inspired us to take this new adventure.
How? Being in certain way independant from our school, we need the start up capital for the machines. We already have a 3D printer, so we need the money for a laser cutter and a CNC mill, for a total of 7000 €. The ideal budget is however 10000 €. It would enable us to buy an extra wire bender, a vinyl cutter, a 3D scanner, various electronic equipment (microcontrollers, sensors, motors, etc.) and some tools.
Laser Cutter FabLab iMal, Brussels
Why support? FabLabs are the education resource of the 21st century, they help kids to: develop a personal identity, develop cognition and perception, develop teamwork, acquire a certain autonomy, stimulate creativity, to make contact with the ‘technological’ world, to learn through your own experience.
*For certain pledges, as we are not a commercial activity, transport fees may be charged for shipping outside Belgium
In almost every school curricula, in Belgium and Europe, a void exists between education and the world outside of school, especially in the field of technology. We must although become true creative users, not just simple consumers. Without it, students lose their natural curiosity and motivation.
"You can’t teach sports unless you have a gym." -Prof P. Blikstein, FabLab@School
The professor Paulo Blikstein at Standford, founder of the FabLab@School, explains well the importance The professor Paulo Blikstein at Stanford, founder of the FabLab@School, explains well the importance of infrastructure in his TED talk where he does an analogy with sport. So to cultivate creativity, autonomy, critical thinking and much more, we need a space that allows it. We need a FabLab.
It all started with the competition ‘Toys Revival’, an initiative of Research in Brussels, where the goal was to provide new features for old toys. After this adventure, together with the other school team, we won a 3D printer. For the duration of the competition we had access to a FabLab and this was our first encounter with this world. This is what inspired us to start this project.
A FabLab is a free and open space, featuring all the world a series of digital manufacturing machines so far exclusive to industries, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines and others. They are controlled by a computer and that's what makes them easy to use. Currently there are just over 120 FabLabs world but their number is increasing. These revolutionary spaces are places of creativity and innovation.
The FabLab, is aimed for general use by classes as well as individual students. The Open FabLab hours, every Wednesday afternoon will give the possibility to anyone to make and create. In the FabLab Team, we will make tutorials, take care of the machines and the material, curate the FabLab's website and organise reservations and workshops!
Why support the project?
FabLabs are the education resource of the 21st century, they help kids to: develop a personal identity, develop cognition and perception, develop teamwork, acquire a certain autonomy, stimulate creativity, to make contact with the ‘technological’ world, and to learn through your own experience. The FabLab really represents a novel way of teaching and learning that makes a huge difference for the kids development.
Our team has experience with extracurricular projects. We are 10 pupils of the European School of Brussels I, coming from 6 different countries, aged 16-18 years. Four of us participated in the Young-Enterprises; eight participated in the contest 'Toys Revival'; four have done an internship; and we have three winners of the Belgian Science Olympiads.
The project has the potential to serve as a pilot test for an European FabLab implementation program in schools.There are about 120 FabLabs in the world and even less that are in schools. We hope our FabLab will serve as a model for other enthusiasts, and all our documentation will be available online. We are also at discussions stage with the European School authorities who could help us get the attention of the EU.
The most considerable obstacle we face is our lack of technical knowledge, as we've had a limited experience in a FabLab, and we will be learning as we go. Despite this fact, we are motivated to make through any problem that might arise! We also have the support of professionals and other FabLabs, who we might ask for an advice if needed.
Another challenge is the fact that most of us are in our last year of school and we have important exams and the BAC coming. All the work we are doing is outside school and takes us time. However, up until now, we are decently organised and up until now everything is running well and we intend it to continue being like that.
Alternative ways of helping
The best way of getting funded by crowdfunding is to reach as many people as possible, so please share our project with you friends, family, co-workers and any other people! :)
More info: http://bit.ly/Xps8iq (full repport)
NB: As we are a non-profit organisation, depending of the amount of the contribution and the address location, transport fees can be charged for the packs.