PEF Partners With Volkswagen And HCS To Host Chattanooga Fabrication Institute – The Chattanoogan

PEF Partners With Volkswagen And HCS To Host Chattanooga Fabrication Institute – The Chattanoogan

The Public Education Foundation, in partnership with Hamilton County Schools and Volkswagen Group of America, announce the fourth annual Chattanooga Fabrication Institute to occur on June 20-22. The one-of-a-kind professional development experience will serve over 150 educators from across the nation. The sold-out event will take place at the Chattanooga Whiskey Event Hall and in various VW eLabs throughout the district, highlighting HCS as the world-leader in Fab Lab education, said officials.
The institute is made possible thanks to the support of Volkswagen Group of America.
The three-day digital fabrication institute offers teachers and principals opportunities to engage in hands-on learning with 3D printing, laser engraving/cutting, vinyl cutting, CNC routing, microcomputing, and more. The institute will feature HCS student presentations on their experiences in eLabs during the pandemic. Each morning will begin with presentations from national leaders in STEM education including an interactive keynote address from acclaimed author and arts educator, Kevin Honeycutt. Following the morning sessions to kick off each day, participants will move to one of five local schools with an eLab where they will engage in daily hands-on workshops designed and led by HCS teachers.
The Institute’s immersive design empowers participants to gain first-hand experience with state-of the-art technology and innovative teaching strategies. “We are delighted to host this extraordinary opportnity for more than 100 Hamilton County teachers as well as educators from 17 states across the nation,” said Dr. Dan Challener, president of Public Education Foundation. “Thanks to the partnership between PEF, VW Group of America, and Hamilton County Schools, thousands of young people will have the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the knowledge they will need to thrive in the future world of work.”
While the institute attracts national attention with educators coming in from at least 17 states, it also directly supports the HCS Future Ready 2023 strategic plan. “The knowledge and resources provided by the institute help us develop great teachers and leaders, who are then better equipped to accelerate student achievement and prepare future ready students” said Dr. Justin Robertson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The Institute also shines a spotlight on HCS teachers and students as world leaders in the implementation of Fab Labs and cutting-edge education, which helps us attract the best and brightest in the field of education to serve our Hamilton County students.”
“One of the most important skills a student can develop is the skill of learning how to learn,” said Burkhard Ulrich, vice president of human resources at Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Through these digital fabrication labs, educators use technology to inspire students with more than subject matter. Students learn how to explore problems, brainstorm and identify solutions.”
In March 2017, PEF, Hamilton County Schools, Volkswagen Group of America, and the State of Tennessee established a partnership that pioneered strategies to effectively integrate digital fabrication labs, or “Fab Labs,” in schools. That partnership initially resulted in the development of 16 VW eLabs across HCS. Building on the momentum, the labs have continued to grow with a recent $1 million anonymous donation to PEF to expand access to the labs into elementary schools, marking HCS as the global leader in school-based Fab Labs.
“The Chattanooga Fab Institute shines a bright spotlight on some of the innovative opportunities for students and teachers in Hamilton County Schools,” said Michael Stone, vice president of Innovative Learning at PEF. “The eLab teachers facilitating these workshops are exceptional leaders who are actively redefining how we prepare students for the modern workforce, and the collaborative effort is attracting attention from around the world.”

For more information, visit www.vwelab.org/chattfab.

June 21, 2022
June 21, 2022
June 20, 2022
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