FabLabs in vulnerable communities: STEM education opportunities for everyone
González Nieto, Noé Abraham
Ching-Chiang, Lay-Wah Carolina
Fernández Cárdenas, Juan Manuel
Reynaga Peña, Cristina G.
Santamaría Cid de León, David
Díaz de León Lastras, Alejandra
Cortés Capetillo, Azael Jesús
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FabLabs (Fabrication Laboratories), also referred to as makerspaces or hackerspaces, are open spaces for collaborative creation and horizontal cooperation, supporting the development of technological skills of its users. They often serve to promote STEM knowledge and engage participants in equitable education opportunities. Drawing from a participatory design methodology and a qualitative research perspective in a collaborative process between universities in Mexico and in the United Kingdom, this paper focuses on the setup of a FabLab in La Campana district in Monterrey, Mexico, an area characterized by its vulnerability and marginalization. Envisioned to serve as both, a STEM learning place and a fabrication workshop for the surrounding community,the FabLab Campana has provided a platform for the democratization of educational practices through the inclusion of participants from different settings, countries and ages, collaborating in the achievement of common goals, while stimulating creative thinking, and strengthening the bonding with participants and their needs. The FabLab counts with a carefully designed program of activities to promote STEM knowledge, an interactive design approachand context, and the development of skills based on dialogic learning. Evidence collected from observations and interviews supports the conception that the STEM learning practices carried out at the FabLab are a rewarding and meaningful experience for all involved, which also help to accelerate the adoption of technological tools in the surrounding community.
- Artículo 936