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What is a FABLAB?
A FABLAB is a technical platform for STEAM education, workforce development and business idea prototyping that allows students to explore the entire engineering design process in a real world context. FABLABs provide tools that enable students to go from concept to drawing, models to prototype, and redesign to final product. The hands-on activities found in FABLABs include laser cutters, machinery for creating circuit boards and precision parts, a suite of programming tools and many more items.
Who can use the FABLAB?
The FABLAB is a community resource and will be available to local students, teachers, community members and the public at large.
Where is the FABLAB located?
FABLAB Jackson County is located at 12004 Highway 57 in Vancleave, Mississippi 39565
What equipment is available in the FABLAB?
The FABLAB features:
- Laser Cutters to engrave, etch and cut a variety of materials including wood, acrylic, plastic, cloth, leather, paper, rubber, veneer, cork and more
- 3D Printers to print digital models into solid, 3D forms made of plastic
- CNC Routers to cut, drill, carve and machine wood, plastic, aluminum and other materials
- Milling Machines used for molding and casting by machining modeling wax and for milling circuit boards
- A computer lab outfitted with design software
Why is Chevron partnering with The Fab Foundation?
At Chevron, we depend on an educated workforce to meet our business needs, and we know that a workforce educated and trained in STEAM leads to economic growth for our business and the communities where we operate. The Fab Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to and creating a network of international fabrication labs (Fab Labs), is at the forefront of STEAM learning.
Our partnership with The Fab Foundation will put the tools to make almost anything into the hands of students. A Fab Lab consists of equipment like laser cutters and 3-D printers, and Chevron’s support will help develop Fab Labs across the country in areas where Chevron has operations. Chevron’s support has helped open Fab Labs in Washington, D.C.; two in the Pittsburgh, Penn. area; Bakersfield, Richmond and Santa Clara, Calif.; Odessa, Texas; New Orleans; and now Jackson County, Miss.
What skills are developed through the project-based activities found in FABLABs and why are these skills important?
FABLABs give students experience working with tools, machinery and technology used today in STEAM-related industries and help them develop the deep critical skills necessary for preparing them to become inventors and innovators of the future.
Education programs offered at each FABLAB allow students and aspiring inventors to test the engineering design process from initial design through creation.
Why is Chevron supporting science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education?
We believe that investing in STEAM education is a national imperative. It is vital to innovation, to our ability to create good jobs, and to both our business and our country’s overall economic strength and competitiveness. As a company of engineers and scientists, we rely on a STEAM-skilled workforce to meet our business needs. Our efforts in the U.S. aim to arm students with the critical skills they need to succeed in their future careers—whether at Chevron or in other industries.
Why did Chevron and Fab Foundation partner to create the FABLAB in Jackson County?
Chevron and the Fab Foundation are partnering to launch the FABLAB Jackson County to provide students and aspiring inventors in the area the resources to create, experiment and build their skills in STEAM. The FABLAB provides educational programming and opportunities to advance STEAM education, human centered design, collaborative projects and the creative economy, connecting people and creating opportunities for learning, research, experimentation and business.
How does Chevron support STEAM?
We partner with education organizations, government officials, nonprofit organizations and community leaders to increase access to, and the quality of, education and career and technical training. To that end, we work with our partners to take a holistic approach to supporting education by:
- getting students excited about STEAM and encouraging them to pursue courses and STEAM careers;
- supporting educational standards and proven curriculum that promote activity-, project- and problem-based learning;
- supporting teacher training;
- providing classroom resources;
- funding out-of-school activities; and
- developing partnerships with universities designed to strengthen faculty, curricula and student development.
What are some STEAM related jobs at Chevron?
At Chevron, STEAM-related jobs include drilling, petroleum and facilities engineers as well as earth scientists, accountants and program managers.