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The Lorain County Community College Fab Lab is based upon the concepts of Dr Neil Gershenfeld, the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Bits and Atoms. A Fab Lab is a collection of commercially available machines that can be used to conceptualize, design, develop, fabricate and test a wide variety of things. The best part is that the equipment is surprisingly easy to use.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Experience Meeting President Obama

On Friday January 22, 2010, the unbelievable became reality for me and my classmates when we had the chance to meet President Barack Obama. My classmates and I prepared for a week to present our FabLab presentations to the President. To sum up that whole experience in a few paragraphs, is difficult because the whole situation left me speechless. The way I felt when I was picked to work in the Fab Lab Group, how I felt when I meet President Barack Obama, and what I can take away from this whole experience is the most important to me and almost impossible to describe.
When I was first told that I was chosen to be in the Fab Lab Group to meet the President, I was astonished. My jaw dropped when I heard those words from my principal, Mrs. Valentine. I was so nervous that I was not going to be able to articulate myself to a man of such high education and power. I was constantly thinking, “What if I forget my name?” or, “What if he thinks I’m not intelligent?” I was so nervous, I forgot to let myself breathe and relax and just hope for the best. I had so much excitement in meeting the President and showing him how Fab Lab can increase the knowledge of our everyday classrooms.
Finally, after all the anticipation and practice, the big moment arrived and I could not wait to show President Obama what my classmates and I had been working on. As the Fab Lab group and I lined up to walk over to the Advanced Technologies Building, I could feel the nerves begin to take over my body. I felt like I was in trouble when I was being searched by a member of the White House, but I knew it was all about the safety of the President and ourselves as well. When we finally arrived at the Fab Lab, I felt overwhelmed but ready to show everyone what my classmates and I were capable of doing. My partner, Tajah Davis, and I were working on our Cereal Box, when I saw that the press and the President had walked into the workshop behind me. All I remember thinking was, “Oh my gosh, the President of the United States is standing behind me.” I had a smile on my face from that moment until I fell asleep that night. When Obama shook my hand, I felt that I could do anything I put my heart to, because when I touched President Obama’s hand, I felt as if he believed in me. From that day forward, I have not let anything stop me from doing anything in this world.
From this experience, I can take away so many things that will help me reach my goals and dreams in my lifetime. This showed me that someone as big and famous as President Obama could notice people like me and Lorain County are important. It shows me that even though I am not a famous person, does not mean that the huge world cannot hear me and know me. I am going to stand out in this world, and I am going to make a difference in the American Society. I also hope to show the world how the Fab Lab can change the way students learn and hopefully create more Fab Lab’s throughout the world.
This experience of meeting the President of the United States will be one of my greatest memories of all time. Also, I am so blessed to experience this opportunity. I could not have done this without the help of my classmates and my teacher, Miss. Blankenship. Thank you so much for a priceless moment.
Chelsea Engle

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Presidential Experience

Paula Jones

January 26, 2010

Welcome President Obama

On January 22, 2010, I met the first African-American president, Barack Obama. That day so many thoughts ran through my mind like what I was going to say or wear. Before meeting the president, I was interviewed on what my outlook was at that point. The entire time this experience felt unreal until he actually walked into the FabLab. The FabLab is a creative and hands -on -learning experience. It is a great resource for geometry class because we can get accurate and precise measure of angles and shapes by using the laser cutter and the other utensils in the lab. There are many FabLabs throughout the world, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to share this experience with not only my peers, but the president. The anticipation was building as we waited for him to enter the classroom. Unexpectedly, President Obama walked in the FabLab with a bubbly personality. He filled the room with such a warm presence. He shook our hands and talked to each one of us. I held my composure but inside my stomach was in knots because of how nervous I was as he stood right behind me. It was a remarkable experience to meet him. I will always treasure the memory of this once in a life time event. It was a great honor to be one of the few students chosen to represent the Lorain County Early College High School located on LCCC’s campus. How many people can say they shook the President’s hand?

LaTrell"s Presidential Experience

LaTrell Torrence
Early College High School
11th grade
January 26, 2010

My Presidential Visit

My Presidential experience was one event in my life that I will not fail to remember. Initially, I was very tense about meeting President Obama; I did not know what to look forward to. When he walked into the FabLab, I did not feel nervous because I believe that he is an average person with a great deal of importance. I noticed that he was not overly professional; he did not have an imperious attitude. Instead he was outgoing and meaningful. He was very cool, walked around and hugged us and shook our hands, asked our names, and just had fun.
Fablab is about taking your ideas and creating and designing 3-D shapes and objects that you can turn into reality. CorelDRAW allows you to calculate and make objects that you cannot do by hand. My Presidential experience was magnificent and this event will be one that I will keep with me and be able to share with others. The Presidential visit was electrifying, and I realized how much of an opportunity Early College High School really is. I truly want to thank Ms. Blankenship and Mrs. Valentine for giving me a chance to experience this and for picking me to be in the presence of the President of the United States.

; Meeting President Obama !

Meeting the president was a completely unbelievable experience. I was very nonchalant about it the days leading up to the big event and I tried not to make it a big deal. When that Friday came, it really hit me; I was going to meet the President! Before we were able to get into the FabLab, we were sat in our study rooms waiting for our time to go. I didn’t expect our time to be one on one with him. I can’t believe we had one on one interactions with the President of the United States. I figured he would be surrounded by eighty of his secret service people telling him about the FabLab themselves. Surprisingly, when he entered the room he had such an ecstatic attitude; he was so happy. He walked in and said, “Hey everybody! Sorry to interrupt!” At first I thought, “Who is this loud person coming in here?” Then I realized that it was the President himself. He actually came to each and every one of us, shook our hands and asked us our names. He was so curious of what we were doing, and what the FabLab was. Having a FabLab would lower complication levels for simple things, such as finding dimensions of squares, cutting of shapes and other materials. The Fab Lab really is just a faster way to do a lot of things in an advanced way. You can even make furniture. When he approached Chelsea and I, he called us divas because we named our cereal box Diva-Trition. It’s not every day that the President call you a diva; it was the highlight of my day. Even though everybody had the day off and didn’t have to come to school, I was so honored to come and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
; Tajah Davis ( 16yrs old )

Meeting the President

Meeting the President was a once in a life time opportunity. I was proud to have been included in a select group of students who got to meet the President. We were in the FabLab when President Obama came in. His energy was so great that it shocked all of us. He walked around the room and shook everyone’s hand and asked everyone what their name was and what we were doing. We were working on designing cereal boxes and trying to determine the most efficient way to make the boxes. In the FabLab, we designed the boxes on the computer and sent them to a laser cutter that cut the boxes how we had designed on the computer. The FabLab was helpful because if we didn’t have the laser cutter, then we would have had to measure the boxes by hand and cut and glued them. Everything would have taken longer and it would have made a big mess. This was an exciting day for me because I got to work in the FabLab and I got to meet the President of the United States of America.

Mark Ballard

Meeting President Obama

In Explanation of my experience Friday, January 22 2010, the word “astounding” can sum it all up. I had been hand chosen by my high school principal, Mrs. Valentine, and my 10th grade Geometry teacher, Ms. Blankenship to represent Early College High School while President Barack Obama was taking a tour of Lorain County Community College. I personally was selected to not only be a participating student but to help answer any questions President Obama had about LCCC’s Fabrication Laboratory. Early College students were incorporated primarily for the reason that Ms. Blankenship’s Geometry class was currently learning how to measure angles of shapes and irregular figures. This innovative learning experience actually helped students who possibly weren’t interested in the angle measurement lesson realize that the learning possibilities are endless. In the long run, students who might not have put forth effort towards applying themselves to this lesson, have been motivated and are willing to put in a greater effort because the FabLab experience contributed to changing their views. It was all so hectic because while everyone was stressing out that the person with the most power in the United States was going to be in their presence, I tried to maintain a calmed serene attitude. All was good until the moment came where as I sat, I looked in a short distance and seen the President walk through the building. I couldn’t help but to think to myself, “He is walking History”. As he walked in the room, as calm and serene as I wish I could have been, I couldn’t help but to be star struck. The President shook my hand and walked away, without noticing that my jaw still hadn’t been picked up off of the ground. My selected partner and I walked into the machinery section of the Fabrication Laboratory, mentally preparing ourselves for whatever question President Obama had to offer. After a few minutes of getting machines ready for the President’s observation, he finally walked in and shook mine and my partners hand once again. He asked only a few questions about the main machine, which was less than expected and took much pressure of me and my colleague. Before he left, my partner asked for a high five from the president, which he so gladly gave, and I was able to squeeze in the most privileged hug of my life with the president before he departed. This entire experience has been the best thing of my life. To think that most people do not have the chance to be in the same room as the President of the United States, I can say I personally met President Barack Obama. I would like to thank the people who made it possible, my 10th grade Geometry teacher Ms. Blankenship and My High School principal Mrs. Valentine. I would also like to thank my fellow classmates for putting in great effort to make this such a great memory. Early College High School made history, my fellow students and staff made history, I made history, and history is never forgotten!

Akil M.S. Blanton

My Presidential Expereince

My Presidential Experience
During my presidential experience, my heart never stopped racing. It started when President Obama entered the room. President Obama was a very down to earth person. President Obama came into the room announcing, “Now, what is going on in here. Sorry if I am interrupting.” In this spilt second, I lost focus and I could not help but to chuckle, but then I was back to being serious. While he walked around the room, he talked to each of the students, then he was behind Paula and I. This is the one moment when my heart stopped. President Obama first asked for our names and shook our hands! This interaction was the most nerve racking, exciting, and frightening thing I have ever done. After that, we were asked what we were doing. Paula and I answered by telling him that the whole point of being in the FabLab was to design a cereal box that used less material but could contain more product. President Obama then asked how we could do that, in response I answered, “By decreasing the width of the box.” Once we were ready to design our box, we then told President Obama that instead of making it on a printer we were creating it inside a laser cutter. Finally, President Obama had to move on, he shook our hands once more, and then he moved to Tajah and Chelsea. This six minute experience is by far the highlight of my school years.
Sean McGuigan

We Got To Meet President Obama :)

My Friday experience was the best life changing event that happened to me (well besides getting accepted into Early College). Now onto what happened that day. On Friday morning, all of the students that were chosen went to the office to get our official cases for our IDs. Then we spent about three hours in the study hall talking about meeting President Obama and what we were excited for.
Now comes the fun part, getting ready for the meeting. We had amazing pizza and cookies that the school provided for us. Then we began to talk about our bucket lists with Ms. Valentine and Ms. Blankenship, which really helped calm the nerves. We cleaned up, and went through security, which wasn’t as fun as I thought because I wanted to go through the huge airport security ones. So then we waited in a college classroom, which confused me because I thought we were just going to the Fab Lab right away.
Then, we traveled along to the FabLab. Personally, I think the FabLab is an important piece of learning because the FabLab helps us learn how to do new math things in a different and more technological way. We were making cereal boxes that day to see how we could go green. I was nervous because my best friend Desirae, who was also chosen, told me that she already saw the president. My heart beat was sky rocketing and it felt like my heart was going to explode. Then, as soon as I was semi back to normal, President Obama walked in.
President Obama was so energetic when we came in and visited with us. When he was going around and shaking other people’s hands, I became more level headed because I wasn’t as nervous anymore. President Obama was really excited to meet us, and we were excited to meet him. As for continuing the cereal box making, my partner and I were getting frustrated because we couldn’t figure out how to change the width without making it all lopsided. Mr. Zitek, the FabLab director, really helped us out with the program we were using, Corel Draw.
I was kind of sad that we didn’t get to finish our cereal boxes, because the FabLab crew wanted to beat the traffic. We then went back to the study hall and watched President Obama live via LCCC telecast. Overall, my experience on Friday was life changing. I cannot wait to tell my children and grandchildren that I met one of the nation’s presidents. I am glad that I was chosen and that I got to represent Early College High School when meeting President Obama.

Kelsey Gallaher :)

Meeting President Obama

My experience Friday is one that I shall not forget. As soon as he walked into the room and I heard his voice, my heart started to pound; I was nervous and scared. I was scared because I was worried that the slightest thing would set off the Secret Service, and they would swoop in. When President Obama walked around the Fab Lab, and shook my hand, I became relieved, because I saw how cool and laid back he was. As he was walking around the room, he was asking questions about what we were doing and we told him that we were designing a cereal box. President Obama seemed very interested that we were using this kind of technology at such an age. He was impressed that we knew what we were doing, and how well we were able to do it. He also seemed impressed with how well we were able to explain what we were doing. Although he could not spend much time with us, when he was there I could almost feel a royal feeling. I wish he could have stayed longer. I was so excited that I actually got to meet President Obama, because now I can cross it off my list of things to-do before I die. I believe that meeting the President of the United States was an astounding way to start off the year.
Nick Swartz

Meeting Barack Obama :)

I will never forget meeting President Barack Obama. The morning of Friday, January 22, 2010, I found myself both anxious and extremely nervous. The thought of meeting the President of the United States was not a thought I took very lightly. When I found out I would be meeting him, I found myself in disbelief. It was not until my fellow peers and I were being scanned and searched by the Secret Service, that the gravity of the situation actually began to sink in. Sitting in the FabLab waiting for the President’s arrival, was both exciting and nerve wracking. It was then that I began contemplating all of the benefits of using the FabLab. As geometry students, we work with three-dimensional shapes and in the FabLab we were given the privilege to see, create, and modify three-dimensional shapes. My partner Akil and I were editing a design for a butterfly-shaped rocking chair that we would be creating. We would be creating this rocking chair using a special machine called the Shop Bot. After seeing the President enter the building, I could not believe my eyes. When he entered the room, the entire atmosphere lit up. I was the first person he approached. The President shook my hand and asked my name. At that moment, I realized that I did not have to worry because he is in fact just a regular person, but meeting him was still an honor. President Obama then walked around the room, examining everyone’s work and allowing them to introduce themselves. At that point, Akil and I went into a different part of the FabLab which contained the Shop Bot. We then began carving our rocking chair out of wood. After a few minutes, President Obama entered the room and asked us a simple question about transferring data to the machine. He also asked Akil and me what future careers we have in mind. We both told him we were looking to be in the medical field and he said he was proud. When he shook my hand to leave, I could not resist, I leaned in and asked the President for a high-five. He simply smiled and raised his hand and then offered me a fist bump. High-fiving and fist-bumping the President was something I never thought I would accomplish, but I will now carry the memory for the rest of my life. After he left smiling, I couldn’t believe what had actually just happened.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Obama visits Fab Lab

Well I would have to say that my response would be close to what Noah had mentioned.

I was, however, slightly nervous and excited about Obama showing up into the Fab Lab. All the hard work we had all put in to prep for his arrival: from working 12+ hours a day for 2 to 3 days straight, to the crazy and unexpected jobs and deadlines that needed to be met and completed, wondering if any of us, including myself, would be able to get it all done and would it all be good enough for the president or not. I have to admit it was worth it though. Just to say that I was able to be that close to a very influential person, one that a lot of people look up to was awesome. Not a lot of people can say that. And it is certainly not something that happens everyday.

I remember being in the Fab Lab helping one of the students on a problem he was working on. When I had looked up from the computer screen, I saw him. The president was standing in front
of the ShopBot looking up through the glass window that separated the students and myself in the Fab Lab from where he was standing in the CIM Lab. His eyes were glued to the duel projector screens behind me. One of them was displaying a picture of the ShopBot, the other was showing the 25 watt laser that was cutting one of the students' box project. Obama's first look on his face was along the lines of "I want to be in there because that looks so cool". And I just stood there and smiled because I saw a change on his face that I had seen so many times before, with so many different people before him. It was a look of discovery, disbelief, amazement and a (very large) bit of those creative gears turning in his head.

After Noah had walked out to start up the ShopBot for the president, Obama went around to all the students in the Fab Lab and shook hands with each and every one of them. He would ask what they were doing, how they were doing it, what they thought of the lab and even helping one of the students with one of the geometric problems they were working on. That was cool.

It just goes to show that no one is immune to the addictiveness and creativity that is harnessed in the Fab Lab, not even the president himself. I am pretty sure that we did Neil Gershenfeld and all the other Fab Labs proud that day.

FABulous Presidential Visit

I was expecting the president to be more serious and the visit to be more formal. Instead he came in to the room energetic, happy, friendly, charismatic, and curious. It reminded me of the excitement when Santa Clause enters a room full of young children. Although he was only in the room for a short time. He spent time talking individually to almost everyone. He went around the entire room to see what the 10th grade Early College geometry students were working on and ask them questions. He joked, commented on their responses, and offered encouragement. He was very down-to-earth and easy to talk to. Before we knew it, the president had to leave to attend the Town Meeting in the Field house. He left behind a buzz of excitement and stories to tell.

President Obama visits the Fab Lab

Friday, January 22 started out the same as any other day, with the exception that I was going to meet the most powerful man in the country, or rather, in the world. Looking back at yesterday's events, I'm surprised I wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I might have been. I guess I just couldn't grasp the fact that President Obama was coming to LCCC’s Fab Lab.
Once on campus and through security, it was a normal day in the lab. Students visiting from a high school were learning geometry by constructing three-dimensional boxes on our two Epilog lasers, and everyone was discussing how to build the best box or helping one another. All of a sudden I saw several people enter the room and I heard "Sorry to interrupt you guys…." I recognized that voice from somewhere. It was President Barack Obama! I took me a second to put together in my mind what was happening, I was surprised to see the President in the Fab Lab, even after preparing the lab for so many hours in the days preceding.
Once he was in the Fab Lab, he stopped by a table to greet Desirae and Akil, two high school students who were working with me to design and create a rocking chair. He looked over our 1/6th scale prototype (made on the laser), and also checked out our first full-size model (built on the ShopBot). Next he went around our horseshoe-shaped computer table and spoke with each student about what they were learning and how they were going about their designs.
While he was doing this, Desirae, Akil, and I hurried out to the ShopBot to get it running in time for the President to see it. I was worried we wouldn't be able to start and warm up the machine in time; as I turned on the power to the spindle and started the warm-up sequence I had to ask the Press to step back from the machine and put on their safety glasses. Desirae powered up the dust collector as Akil manned the emergency stop button. Finally the machine was ready to make another rocking chair.
After viewing the main part of the Fab Lab, President Obama glanced out the soundproof window overlooking the Shopbot with a look of curiosity on his face. The Press snapped away pictures. Moments later he appeared walking through the door and approached us at the ShopBot. He shook each of our hands and asked us our names. "Wow," he said in an impressed tone, "so you just tell the computer what you want to make, and this machine will make it happen?"
At that moment, as he watched the machine trace the profile of the chair, I realized that our little lab was much more significant than I had ever imagined, we actually impressed the President of the United States!
Just before he left our lab, Desirae asked the President "Can I get a high-five?" He said "Sure!" with a smile on his face as their hands met, followed by a fist bump. That was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen a president do. It made me feel like he identified with us and was more on our level. He said goodbye to us and walked to his limo parked in the loading bay at the back of the lab. In a few seconds the three of us were all that was left of the mob of important people, Press, and security that had been swarming around. We were all still pretty stoked about what had just happened and we recapped our memories of the event with each other until their class started packing up their things to leave. That was surely a day that none of us will ever forget.

-Noah Rasor