On Thursday, October 10, 2019, the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) welcomed Governor Tom Wolf to Brookwood Elementary School, in Bristol Township, to talk with students using their newly unveiled Bucks IU Mobile Fab Lab. The Fab Lab was funded by the governor’s groundbreaking PAsmart initiative. The governor was joined by Bucks IU and Bristol Township School District leaders to highlight how PAsmart, his groundbreaking workforce development program, is investing in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education to prepare students for good-paying careers in these high demand areas.
“With PAsmart, we are partnering with educators and the private sector to strategically invest in science and technology education, so students are prepared for the high-growth jobs of today and the future,” said Governor Wolf. “Elementary school students will experience tremendous technological advances in their lifetime and PAsmart will help them learn and gain knowledge to thrive.”
During the tour, the governor visited students using equipment from the new Bucks IU Mobile Fab Lab. Funded by a $412,656 PAsmart Advancing Grant, the lab travels to Bucks County schools to teach students about coding and providing hands on experience with a wide variety of robotics materials, ShopBot CNC router, 3D printers, silhouette fabricators, laser and vinyl cutters, and more. The lab will focus on first through eighth grade students with the goal of increasing interest in STEAM careers.
“We are very honored to be a recipient of multiple PAsmart grants and the partnerships they allow us to build, including the opportunity to develop this Mobile Fab Lab,” said Dr. Mark Hoffman, Executive Director of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. “By being able to bring STEAM education directly to our districts, schools, and students, we are providing innovative teaching and learning that prepares our young people today for the jobs of tomorrow.”
The Bucks IU is dedicated to the expansion of STEAM education. As announced earlier this year, a PAsmart grant of $390,675 was awarded to the PA SEED Ecosystem, of which the Bucks IU is a founding member, to create a program for students in grades 7th through 12th in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties to expand computer science and STEM learning in their communities. Another PAsmart grant of $500,000 to 10 intermediate units, including the Bucks IU, is providing coding equipment for students in 154 school districts through the PA STEM Lending Library Coalition.
For information on the Fab Lab, or any of our other exciting STEAM programs, please visit our website at https://www.bucksiu.org/educators-administrators/steam-programs or email STEAM@BucksIU.org.