Click here to visit the LCCC Fab Lab

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.

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.

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