Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Public School Students and Educators Fund

The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab is pleased to announce free access, support and materials for public middle school teachers and students engaged in STEAM-related courses or projects. This new policy and offering is available for a limited time until funds run out, and includes the following:

  • Any educator (teachers, librarians, aides) at any public middle school in Champaign County is eligible for free machine time, materials and staff consulting at the Fab Lab for STEAM (science, technology, engineery, art, math) related projects. Fab Lab staff are available to help create STEAM connected lesson plans and activities, in addition to demonstrating tools, techniques and possibilities. Teachers also may arrange to purchase additional materials for makerspace equipment or activities at their own schools with permission, just email to inquire. A valid school ID (or online staff listing with picture) is required.
  • Any middle school student enrolled in a public middle school in Champaign County is eligible for free machine time, materials and staff consulting for STEAM projects related to coursework and/or independent learning. Got a science fair project you want to 3D print something for? Free. Want help making your very first Internet of Things device or a light-up hoodie? We got you. Just make sure to present your school ID and either show us your assignment or fill out an independent project form before you begin:
    independent project form
  • Machine time includes area fees and laser or milling time. Materials include literally anything we stock at the Fab Lab – wood, acrylic, 3D filament, Arduino kits, Raspberry Pi’s, conductive thread, vinyl, paint, you name it.
  • STEAM Teachers at local public middle schools can work with us to arrange field trips or workshops during or after school for makerspace-related activities. We can cover all costs for materials and tool time for either type of event. If it’s a field trip to the lab we can also cover staff time for free, but cannot cover transportation. Groups of up to 45 learners can be accommodated at once, split into sections of 15. Off-site workshops (at schools) require funding for staff time, we can accommodate classes of up to 20 learners at once.

This offering is made possible with support from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Informatics Programs at the School of Information Sciences, and the National Science Foundation funded Project MAPLE, MAkerspaces Promoting Learning and Engagement.