Newswise — (CARSON, Calif.) – Four new mobile fabrication laboratories (fab labs) to help students build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills will soon make their debut in Los Angeles County. California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) together with Toyota and the W.M. Keck Foundation came together to create the fab labs, which will become part of a global network of nearly 900 mobile labs that share common equipment and software. The unveiling and demonstration will take place Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. at CSUDH.
The dedication event will include engaging science activities for local middle school students, and special remarks from Toyota representatives, CSUDH administrators, and superintendents from regional school districts.
“Many of the schools the fab labs will visit do not have the space or resources to develop high technology-driven programs that teach digital fabrication, or the computational literacy skills that prepare youth for college or the global workplace,” said Willie J. Hagan, president of CSUDH. “Thanks to Toyota and the Keck Foundation, we are now much more equipped to take engineering and mathematical concepts that are theoretical and physically put them in the hands of students to bring STEM to life.”
Co-developed by Motivo Engineering, CSUDH’s mobile fab lab project addresses several issues at the heart of the STEM crisis: the need for qualified science and math teachers; a need to inspire K-12 students through engaging STEM experiences; and the need for more women and minorities graduating with STEM degrees and pursuing careers in related field.
The labs are equipped with tools and technology, such as 3D scanners, printers and modeling software, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, and CNC mills, and electronic components for prototyping projects. Pulled by four Toyota Tundra trucks, the fab labs will travel throughout the South Bay and the greater Los Angeles region to serve local schools, bringing the learning to students, educators, and communities.
“The fab labs are a significant tool in helping further STEM teaching and learning, which is critical to the future of California’s youth, and local and national industries seeking a larger pool of talented STEM graduates,” said Mike Goss, general manager, Toyota Social Innovation, who will speak on behalf of Toyota during the dedication. “Investing today in hands-on, creative, and exciting experiences for young people will pay dividends for local industries and America’s workforce now and in the future.”
The Condition of STEM 2015 – California, ACT report found that of graduating seniors who took the ACT exam 75 percent demonstrated college readiness in English, 57 percent in reading, 62 percent in mathematics, and 52 percent in science. In the case of science readiness, only 26 percent of African American and 30 percent of Hispanic graduating students attain ACT college readiness benchmarks, compared to 71 percent of white students and 68 percent among Asian students.
The fab lab dedication will also feature science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related activities for students from local schools, and an award ceremony for the winners of a STEM competition, as well as remarks by Toyota and local education leaders.
In addition to the fab labs, the Toyota USA Foundation has donated $4 million to support the design, construction, and equipment for CSUDH’s Toyota Center for Innovation in STEM Education (Toyota Center), which will be housed in the university’s new 87,000+ square foot science and innovation building.
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About Toyota Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Dominguez Hills, centrally located in the greater Los Angeles South Bay region, is a model urban university with a wide range of academic programming, providing accessible, high quality, and transformative education to students aspiring to succeed and thrive in a complex, global society. Since 1960, CSU Dominguez Hills has served a diverse community of learners and educators collaborating to change lives and communities for the better. A national model and laboratory for student success, the university offers a proven path to opportunity and social equity, advancing a college-focused culture in the communities it serves while providing vital resources of knowledge, talent, and leadership to the greater Los Angeles region and beyond.
Today, CSU Dominguez Hills boasts over 100,000 alumni – doctors, scientists, engineers, educators, entrepreneurs – who are leaders in education, health, technology, entertainment, public service, and business, making a difference in their fields, in people’s lives, and in their communities. For more information, visit www.csudh.edu.