Governor Wolf Visits the Bucks IU Mobile Fab Lab

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.