Bucks IU receives $150k PAsmart grant

Bucks County IU 22  |  Posted on

The Bucks IU Mobile Fab Lab brings STEAM Education, including computer science and digital fabrication, directly to the students.

The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) is honored to be the recipient of a $150,000 PAsmart Grant to expand the outstanding work of their Mobile Fab Lab. PAsmart grants are a program of Governor Wolf’s administration that aim to improve access to science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) education for all students and increase computer science education.

The Bucks IU received its first PAsmart grant in 2019 to design and launch their highly successful Mobile Fab Lab. The Mobile Fab Lab is a specially equipped transit van that brings interactive computer science and digital fabrication equipment not normally available in most schools directly to students in grades 1-8 throughout Bucks County. The new grant awarded to the Bucks IU will allow an expansion of the Mobile Fab Lab’s STEAM and computer science programs to take education in these areas beyond the classroom. To do this, the funds from this grant are focused on the development of the following three specific programs:

• The Fab Fellows Program will be a hands-on, professional education opportunity for Bucks County teachers providing specialized learning in the areas of digital fabrication and computer science. Upon program completion, Fellows will continue to have virtual networking meetings and they will schedule a week-long residency at their school with the Bucks IU Mobile Fab Lab.

• To support children experiencing homelessness, teachers from regional school districts experiencing higher homeless rates will be selected to become Fab Fellows. These teachers will then partner with the Bucks IU’s Mobile Fab Lab to implement special STEAM, computer science, and digital fabrication programs in their districts.

• To help take education beyond the classroom and support partnerships that advance community involvement, the Bucks IU will be working with Bucks County Public Libraries to offer some special daytime and evening STEAM, computer science, and digital fabrication programs to their communities.