Fab Lab’s Fabulous Guitar Building Project

Well, last week offered another very unique experience for me, this time in the Fab Lab.  Dr. May & Sargento ExecutivesRepresentatives of the Sargento company stopped by to pick up a guitar that they had “commissioned” by the Fab Lab as part of a project to support STEM experiences for young people.  Where do I begin?  STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  A key goal of the Fab Lab is to introduce STEM fields to young people throughout the region, by getting their hands on specific projects like building an electric guitar.  Students design the guitar, fabricate the various elements, build the electronic components, and apply the finishes.  Some amazing guitars have been produced in the Fab Lab thus far, and just imagine what is learned along the way!

The Sargento guitar is pretty spectacular as you can see in the photo included here.  The Sargento Guitar“cheesy” design seems quite appropriate and I can tell you that these company reps were elated by the guitar that was presented to them.  Thanks to Sargento’s support, more young people will be able to participate in upcoming guitar building sessions, a couple of which are scheduled to run this summer.  We plan to offer this type of corporate sponsorship that involves a custom-designed guitar to other companies as well.  Perhaps Sargento’s experience will get this trend rolling.

If you’d like more information on this corporate sponsorship opportunity or the upcoming guitar building classes, let me know.

How Might We Make a Difference for Junior Achievement?

Last week I attended the “Celebrate Junior Achievement Breakfast” here in the Fox Cities along with several of the College’s key leaders. Just recently, I’ve agreed to join JA’s senior advisory committee and am just beginning to learn of the work of this organization. Junior Achievement inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy through volunteer-led, hands-on activities that reinforce the concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. What incredible alignment there is between JA’s mission and the work that Fox Valley Technical College is doing in reaching out to youth and local schools!

When I think about the incredible staff talent we have at FVTC, I’d really like to see our organization provide a core of volunteers to go into the schools in the coming year to provide JA activities. At this breakfast we learned that dozens of teachers remain on Fox Cities and Oshkosh waiting lists for volunteers to bring JA programming into their kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms. We could help fill that gap. Some of the JA topics are right up our alley—“economics,” “global marketplace,” “entrepreneurship,” “jobs in our community,” “success skills,” “careers with a purpose,” and many more. Each topic is delivered in 5-6 very short lessons delivered in a local school by a volunteer and the curriculum is very well developed.
Continue reading “How Might We Make a Difference for Junior Achievement?”