Universal Foundation,Inc., dedicated funds this year to support Stoughton High School’s Fab Lab, which offers students small-scale workshops with digital fabrication tools that enable them to make just about anything. This innovative program, one of the few to exist in an American public high school, was conceptualized at MIT. It provides valuable hands-on career and technical education, bringing businesses and the community together.
Beginning last school year and expanded this school year to local residents and entrepreneurs, the $206,000 Fab Lab allows those who use it to try their hand at product creation. The premise is that with a specific set of computer-operated machines, people can conceptualize an unlimited number of services and products. The lab makes use of five machines: a 3-D printer that creates plastic products; a vinyl cutter than can also handle flexible metal material; a small milling machine that can be used with wood, metal and plastic; laser cutters and engravers that can shape or imprint wood, stone or glass; and a large milling machine that can cut wood, acrylic or aluminum.
The lab is funded through grants from several community businesses and organizations, and it is supervised by three Stoughton High School teachers.