FabLab kicks off summer camp with new safety protocols in place

FabLab summer camp is now underway

VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) - FabLab’s summer camp got the wheels turning on Tuesday, but it’s not your traditional camp. Instead of exploring the wilderness, these campers are immersed in the world of STEM by building 3D images, robots, and much more.

With much preparation to ensure kids are safe, only ten people are allowed in the facility—that’s five students and five teachers. However, starting in July, there will be one employee with nine kids.

Inside, the building is divided into two rooms, allowing students to have designated areas of 100 square feet. “They have their own computer, they have their own 3D printer, they have their own laser engraver. Whatever it is they’re using, they’re the only ones to touch it,” said program manager, Scott Beebe.

Before students enter the building, a temporal scanning will take place. Then, they will complete a questionnaire about symptoms and interaction with COVID-19 or any illness.

"If they don’t pass that, they’re not allowed in the building. And once they come in, they stay in their area,” said Beebe.

The children are taught are to create the 2D and 3D designs on the computer, then the information is transported to the 3D printer. Once the images are printed, students take measurements to make sure it fits properly on the 3D light base that other students have created.

“So they’re layering 2D images on clear acrylic and engraving that and when you put it together, it creates a 3D effect,” Beebe explained.

If some parents aren’t comfortable with summer camps just yet, FabLab is offering free summer camp online. “So they’re learning to do things that are computer-based jobs. So they do three hours of online robotics, online electronics, online scratch coding. So learning to code a robot that is a computer-based job. So doing a camp online— on a computer— is very realistic to how that work would look,” said Beebe.

The camp is $100 a week for children ages five and up, and applications can be found on their website.

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