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JNWSFL Makers Pilot Program

Through such programs, the lab will move towards equipping young people with the technical skills to address real-world problems, and catalyze STEM education.
  • Innotech
  • |
  • July 12, 2022

As a space dedicated to learning and innovation, it is vital that the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super Fab Lab (JNWSFL) pursue partnerships with different spaces, both locally and globally. As part of these efforts, and in creating a community of innovators and makers, JNWSFL seeks to ensure all initiatives and activities undertaken by the lab leads to impactful results for community members and the nation at large. To this end, the lab will run JNWSFL Programs which will explore pre-identified focus areas, and a dynamic list of impact themes with the sole purpose of capacity building. 

JNWSFL’s First Impact-Based Program

The JNWSFL Makers Pilot Program is the first of such impact-based programs, designed to introduce integrated and innovative technology use, and attempt to supplement current STEM education with outside-of-the-class, informal activities. Through this program, students will be given the opportunity to engage in an effective learning pathway that will expand their boundaries beyond the school curriculum, and implement digital fabrication tools in their education. Simultaneously, teachers will be trained to be better equipped to transition towards technology and its applications in STEM education. 

JNWSFL has employed a multi-pronged approach for the Makers Program, conducting outreach and engagement initiatives at different levels. The successful design and implementation of this program is expected to align to the lab’s interest in initiatives at the intersection of Learn (focus area) and STEM Education (impact theme)

As part of the program, JNWSFL aims to:

  • Engage with relevant agencies to understand the barriers towards STEM education within the current system, and brainstorm potential ideas towards supplementing solutions to those issues. 
  • Conduct consultations with teachers in order to co-create a program that is more relevant and applicable to students 
  • Provide an engaging and applied learning experience to interested students 
  • Equip educators with the means to change how STEM subjects are taught.
  • Familiarize schools, teachers, and students with the lab and its facilities and create a channel through which the lab can introduce future programs and initiatives

To aid the design and implementation of this program, teachers identified through nomination and volunteer basis were invited to engage with the JNWSFL team. After initial consultations, these teachers are currently undergoing a training program wherein they are being trained on how to use standard fab lab machines which are used for rapid prototyping as well as other machines that are required to run the program.

Scaling up Impact-Based Programs

Once the training program has been completed, teachers are invited to identify 5 students and custom create a curriculum to expose them to digital fabrication tools. The teacher and their students are then expected to come up with a project using the lab’s resources.

Through the successful implementation of this pilot program (which will run through July and first week of August, 2022), the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck will establish a community of JNWSFL students and teachers. With feedback and suggestions from this community, the pilot program will be fully developed to be replicated through other fab labs in the country, and also scaled up towards becoming an annual program. 

In the long run, as these communities, within the JNWSFL and at other fab labs, grow, the JNWSFL team will be able to run a regional base Makers Program every year. Through such programs, the lab will move towards equipping young people with the technical skills to address real-world problems, and catalyze STEM education, both in-classroom and out. 

English (UK)