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PAsmart-Funded Fab Lab Brings STEM Lessons to Bucks County Students

09/23/2019

Perkasie, PA - A new mobile fab lab unveiled today at Seylar Elementary School will give Bucks County students in grades 1-8 greater access to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and CS (computer science) programming. Funding for the fab lab was secured through Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a groundbreaking approach to provide skills training for jobs in high demand.

Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) and Bucks County Intermediate Unit, which secured the $412,656 grant, joined administrators and teachers at the Pennridge School District for the unveiling.

“Governor Wolf recognizes that students need access to these courses to acquire the skills that many of today’s employers now demand,” said Judd Pittman, PDE STEM advisor. “PAsmart grants provide the funding so educators can create training tools, like fab labs, to bring more levels of instruction to a greater number of students.” 

A mobile fab lab is a collection of equipment that is housed within a mobile cart and transported by a transit van. The equipment includes coding and robotics materials, 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters, a Shop Bot, and more.

The Bucks County IU Mobile Fab Lab will have the capacity to visit up to 36 Bucks County schools for a one-week residency each school year. The lab will target students in grades 5-8, with the goal of increasing enrollment at Bucks County career and technical schools.

In addition, the lab will visit Region 8 homeless shelters on a regularly scheduled basis and will conduct summer camps to provide STEAM experiences to students who may not have access to this instruction.

Funding for the fab lab was secured through Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a groundbreaking approach to provide skills training for jobs in high demand. Through PAsmart grants, the administration will award nearly $20 million to bolster STEM, computer science and career-readiness efforts and $10 million for hands-on skills training and apprenticeships. The 2019-20 state budget also includes an increase of $10 million for career and technical programs and grants.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis - 717-783-9802 or elevis@pa.gov

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