Thompson Engineering Foundation funds improvements to STEM School Chattanooga Fab Lab and offers student project learning experiences
Posted on 11/03/2020
Photo: Sharon Law, Tennessee Valley Regional Manager for Thompson Engineering, presents the three thousand dollar check to Dr. Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga.Thompson Engineering recently presented STEM School Chattanooga with a $3,000 check to improve the school's Fab Lab and offer student projects in partnership with the school. The STEM School lab was the first in Hamilton County Schools and is now part of the largest collection of educational Fab Labs in the world, and they are found right here in Hamilton County.

The funds will allow the school to purchase a Fixed and Plunge Base Router Kit, a Kreg Pocket Hole System, a band saw, hearing protection for students, a jigsaw, a cardboard snipping tool, an orbital sander, and clamp sets. Thompson Engineering will also cooperate with the STEM School to provide seven to eight-week STEM-related projects for students. The projects will be co-created by David Vanzant, the STEM School Fab Lab instructor, and Thompson Engineering representatives. The projects will allow student teams to learn and solve an issue in the business field. Students will also create prototypes, working model solutions.

Last semester, students worked with professional architects to apply design thinking as they reimagined the Lupton City mill's former site as community spaces. Students worked with five architectural firms from the area. The students also worked with a local engineering firm to seek solutions to improve water infrastructure technology. Fab Lab students also produced a compelling short film about Songbirds Guitar Museum using archived soundtracks and original music.

The business partner works directly with the Fab Lab instructor to develop the project idea, the project kickoff that sets the stage for student design challenges, and the project conclusion that provides feedback on the student presentations and work. Thompson Engineering personnel will be able to participate in the projects in person or virtually.

Photo: Sharon Law, Tennessee Valley Regional Manager for Thompson Engineering, presents the three thousand dollar check to Dr. Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga.