STEM School Chattanooga and MC2 STEM in Cleveland, OH currently lead a leadership pilot for FabLab k-12 work. Teachers from each school work with national and international experts in developing rigorous and engaging digital-fabrication curriculum, participate in interactive professional development and shepherd the growth of a community of practice of educators in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math using digital fabrication. The Fab Foundation's project is called Scaling a Community of Practice for Education in STEM through Digital Fabrication, or SCOPES-DF.
For more information on SCOPES-DF, visit https://www.scopesdf.org/


The FabLab (or fabrication laboratory) provides STEM students with the resources to fully design, prototype, and test products for their projects. All STEM students have the opportunity to use the FabLab as part of their courses.

fabrication laboratory students exploring solar energy

As defined by the Fab Foundation, FabLabs provide widespread access to modern means for invention. They began as an outreach project from MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) and evolved into a collaborative and global network. The STEM School FabLab is the first high school-based FabLab in the southeastern US.

students using tools in the Fab Lab students and teachers in the fab lab

Our FabLab is divided into two areas: the design lab and the machine shop. The design lab is equipped with computers, 3D printers, and electronics workbenches. The machine shop includes modern digital fabrication tools as well as traditional wood shop tools.

student showing a mask printed with a 3D printer students showing projects made with traditional wood shop tools

The FabLab is an important component in the STEM School's mission of using technology to foster the inquisitive nature of students to develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking, and innovation. The FabLab tools allow the students to create products of professional quality.

students designing future projects STEM presentations by students

Examples of student projects used in the FabLab include:

  • Inventing a charging device for smartphones powered by swinging a door
  • Fabricating solar array panels for outdoor classrooms
  • Designing packaging concepts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Moon Pies
  • Prototyping specialized prosthetics using 3D printers
  • Creating merchandise displays for sporting goods stores
  • Making an Arduino-based electronic garden monitoring system
  • Building Science-on-the-Go carts for local elementary schools

STEM School Chattanooga was the FIRST certified Fab Lab in the State of Tennessee and is a MODEL for Fab Lab integration into K-12 education.

To see more FabLabs around the world click here: FabLabs Around the World

FabLab Resources:

Design Lab

  • iMac workstations
  • HP DesignJet T520 plotter
  • MightyLam 2700 HC 27" roll laminator

3D Printers

  • MakerBot Replicator 2
  • MakerBot Replicator 2X (2)
  • Orion SeeMeCNC
  • Airwolf HD2X

Digital Fabrication Tools

  • ShopBot CNC router
  • Roland GX-24 vinyl cutter
  • Epilog Mini laser cutter

Electronics Workbench

  • Soldering station
  • Digital oscilloscope
  • Function generator

Workshop Tools

  • Table saw
  • Band saw
  • Mitre saw
  • Drill press
  • Belt sander
  • Bench grinder
  • Orbital sander
  • Cordless drill
  • Impact driver
  • Pneumatic nailer
  • Pneumatic stapler

Selected Software:

  • SketchUp 3D modeling
  • Blender 3D modeling
  • Arduino integrated development environment
  • GIMP graphics software
  • VCarvePro CNC design software
  • Roland Cut Studio vinyl cutting design software
  • Corel Draw graphics software
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