Highlighting the Resilience & Innovation of our Local Businesses

Fab Lab Richmond is synonymous with trailblazing innovation: when it opened in 2014, it was the first Fab Lab at a public school site in the Western United States. With a main facility at Kennedy High School, secondary location at Crespi Middle School, and mobile lab, Fab Lab Richmond engages makers of all ages and provides opportunities for students to take year-long elective classes to learn design programs and machine operation.  

When the COVID19 pandemic cancelled all in-person classes, all activities with students went online and the Fab Lab’s ability to provide hands-on learning, demonstrations, and summer classes were all but eliminated. 

Students engaging with Fab Lab technology. Photo courtesy of Fab Lab Richmond/WCCUSD.

Fab Lab instructors and staff acted quickly to develop remote tutorials for online programs that students can use from home. Over the summer break, they worked with students to design face shields, that staff then manufactured and assembled. “We aren’t built for mass production, but we were able to get materials, and design a face shield that we hope makes a difference for our community”, explains John Iwawaki, STEM Department Instructional Specialist, West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Even though students aren’t able to regularly access the lab, there are promising opportunities like addressing the needs of the community in a tangible way and developing virtual curriculum that will expand the Fab Lab’s reach.

One of these new opportunities is the Fab Lab’s partnership with Richmond Main Street to provide PPE for Downtown businesses and residents. Our Travis Credit Union Foundation campaign is currently raising funds to purchase hand sanitizer, masks, and face shields from local manufacturers and distribute them to the Downtown community free of charge. Now through September 30, you can help protect lives and livelihoods by donating to our campaign. 100% of your contribution will go towards this important cause and will be matched dollar for dollar by Travis Credit Union Foundation!

Here’s How
Visit www.tcufund.org/ways-to-give
Choose your amount
Select “Richmond Main Street Initiative” in the 1st drop down
Spread the word!

Details about giving via check, bank visit, or wire transfer can be found here.

You can find out more at www.wccusd.net/fablab and follow them on Instagram @wccusdfablab for the latest updates! 

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