PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - The Fab Lab is now in Harrison County.
Friday represented the first day that the STEM-education lab by Chevron, which is regionally based in Vancleave, has stepped beyond its Jackson County border.
Mississippi Power and Chemours purchased a van and sponsored an additional employee to transport the high-tech learning tools to another 50 schools with close to 30,000 students.
“It’s developing our students, it’s developing our future workforce,” said Ann Holland, Mississippi Power community development representative. “What better way than to bring in STEM units that kids along Harrison County and part of the Coast will be able to enjoy.”
Pass Christian High School represented the first stop of the Fab Lab in Harrison County.
Educators and corporate sponsors celebrated with a ribbon-cutting to symbolize the new expansion of the project, but on the inside was what really counted.
“3-D printing, coding, laser engraving, electronics, just everything you can imagine, and we tie it to any curriculum,” said Fab Lab manager Scott Beebe.
For him, more classrooms mean more fun.
“Just being able to reach those teachers and kids with STEM and show schools what is possible in their classrooms is amazing,” he said.
Among those students is junior Justin Allen.
“It’s really cool. It’s like a brand new experience,” he said. “And, I’m just really excited. Taking my AP computer science class, there’s only six of us in there. It’s not very much fun but it’s always, like, great to learn, and this made me so much more interested in it.”
Those are words that Pass Christian School Superintendent Carla Evers wants to hear.
“These opportunities give them chances to really display their abilities to think critically and to build those work-ready skills that we desire them to have by the time they graduate from Pass High,” she said.
The mobile unit will be available to transport Fab Lab material to all schools in the county throughout the year, including for summer camps.
Fab Lab hopes to soon expand into Hancock and George counties.