Lauriston set-up a FabLearn Lab (or 'FabLab' as it’s known around the School) in its science faculty in partnership with Stanford University Graduate School of Education. It was a natural step in the development of the School’s modern curriculum and allows open-source technology, digital fabrication and programming to be taught to our students.
Lauriston is part of the Stanford FabLearn network which shares research, new ideas and trains teachers to incorporate digital learning opportunities into their weekly routines.
Lauriston’s FabLearn Lab is an open space with 3D printers, soldering irons, a laser cutter and power tools. It is a collaborative setting where girls can discuss their engineering projects and design challenges. While the impetus for the FabLearn Lab was to encourage our female students to delve deeper into STEM, the space has merged into a cross-disciplinary classroom. All teachers at Lauriston use the FabLab to encourage students from Prep to Year 12 to make, enhance their computer literacy and solve problems.
There are many interesting projects always on the go in the FabLab. Students in Year 7 designed their own toys with moveable parts and the Preps made shoe templates.
The Year 10 STEM elective has a semester to consider a new tool or product that might address an issue or problem in society. The Year 12 Visual Communication students have used the tools in the FabLab to make models of their new business ventures, housing developments, product and furniture designs.
The Principal, Susan Just, had the foresight to create Lauriston’s FabLab because she understands the power of hands-on learning and the need for girls to be confident with technology.
‘All of our graduates will encounter a more diverse and more competitive workforce. If we can equip our students with interdisciplinary skills across STEM and the arts, they will have the right foundations to make their own opportunities, be capable of innovation and be flexible across careers.’ says Ms Just.
Biannually the School organises a FabLearn Australia conference with the intention of developing a local network of digital fabrication educators. In the interim year, we offer a masterclass. This year we have created a three day hackathon for teachers to also become inventors. To book a place at the event go to FabLearn Australia