The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) is very excited to open a learning center designed and dedicated to support the growing interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities in Bucks County. The Fab Lab (Fabrication Laboratory) Center is a bright, inviting space centrally located at One Ivybrook Blvd., Suite 150, in Warminster PA. Events and programs being offered use interactive, hands-on experiences with advanced technology equipment and computer science programs that engage attendees of all ages with endless opportunities of fun and enjoyable learning activities.
“We are very excited to be bringing STEAM programs and activities to the broader Bucks County community with the Bucks IU’s Fab Lab Center,” stated Dr. Mark Hoffman, Bucks IU Executive Director. “This amazing learning center represents the Bucks IU’s ongoing commitment to providing innovative educational opportunities for children and adults. I welcome the entire Bucks County community to join us at a future Fab Lab Center event!”
What is the Fab Lab Center?
This unique space offers programs, events, and activities designed to encourage curiosity, creativity, and artistic expression through collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. The workspace’s writable tabletops can be arranged into different shapes and groupings for maximum collaboration, along with flexible seating arrangements that offer space for more relaxed interactions. Large wall-mounted digital displays provide groups the ability to clearly see and share their efforts.
The Fab Lab center is home to CNC routers, 3D printers, a laser engraver, vinyl cutters, Silhouette fabricators, and more. Laptop computers and tablets are fully loaded with software designed to encourage exploration and creation. Designs and concepts then come to life as they are actually fabricated using the Fab Lab Center’s equipment.
Programs For Children
Children currently in grades K‑12 will find programs that explore STEAM areas of interest through hands-on activities that are both age and skill level appropriate. Kids will become immersed in exciting activities as they explore, examine, and create. Perhaps a spark will be ignited towards a future career path!
Fab Lab Center clubs and programs will focus on Engineering and Design, Coding and Robotics, Advanced Coding with Arduino, Community Service through Hydroponics, Making through Digital Fabrication, and so much more! For the current list of events, please go to www.BucksIU.org/FabLab/Events.
- Join the Club! After-school clubs run for six-week sessions, meeting for 60–90 minutes once each week and are each offered with a different program topic focus.
- STEAM Saturdays offer a unique one-day, multi-hour session loaded with fun.
The Fab Lab Center is a meeting and learning space for STEAM educators and school administrators. Programs offered ‘educate the educator’ on science and technology, elementary engineering, visual arts, math, STEAM integration in the classroom, and teaching
and learning best practices. The Bucks IU is a certified provider of Engineering is Elementary (EIE) Professional Development.
For a FABulous field trip destination, the Fab Lab Center is an excellent option. The Center’s varied programs and activities allow for a curriculum to be chosen that complements and supports what a school or organization is currently learning.
For Businesses and Community Organizations
Specialized Fab Lab Center programs offer groups, companies, and businesses team building exercises or retreat-like workshops. Get together to share activities that encourage and develop team synergy for improved productivity while providing excellent boosts to morale in a fun setting that promotes teamwork, collaboration, and innovation.
The Bucks IU as a Leader of STEAM/STEM Programs
“The Bucks IU has been a champion in the STEAM and computer science space, taking the collective impact approach quite seriously,” stated Mr. Judd Pittman, Special Advisor to Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and a Special Consultant on Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). “The Fab Lab Center being opened today is a prime example of the innovation and growth that PAsmart is intended to generate and will serve as a model.”
In 2019, the Bucks IU introduced a Mobile Fab Lab to Bucks County – one of only 50 in the United States. This large transit van of digital fabrication and computer science equipment is brought to Bucks County schools by a Program Coordinator for week-long residencies. The overwhelming success of that school-based program, which continues to be in popular demand, has been the driving force behind the opening of this Fab Lab Center so that fun and engaging STEAM activities and programs would now also be available to the public.
Dr. Lindsey Sides, Bucks IU Supervisor of STEAM Education, stated “We are thrilled to open the Bucks IU’s Fab Lab Center after seeing the interest and excitement grow so rapidly for our Mobile Fab Lab and STEAM activities. We look forward to expanding our Bucks IU STEAM programs and events while also making them available to more people.”
Find Out More
- Visit the Bucks IU Fab Lab Center’s website at BucksIU.org/FabLab for more information about all our Fab Lab programs.
- Register for Fab Lab Center events and activities at BucksIU.org/FabLab/Events.
- The Fab Lab Center is only open to those pre-registered (no walk-ins/on-site registrations are allowed).
- For questions regarding field trips, team building workshops, or retreats please email FabLab@BucksIU.org or call 215–340-4575.