IYRS School of Technology & Trades has been awarded an Industry Cluster Grant from the State of Rhode Island in the amount of $75,290 in order to begin the development of a “Mobile Maker Lab.”  The traveling lab, a trailer equipped with high-tech maker tools, will visit high schools and prisons, providing short-term hands-on courses and building awareness about careers in 21st century manufacturing.

The Mobile Maker Lab is being developed as a joint effort by IYRS, Rhode Island College, and Polaris MEP to enhance workforce development and innovation by providing educators and students in Rhode Island access to advanced technology, tools, materials, high-tech machinery, and hands-on opportunities that they may not otherwise have available to them.

“Projects like the Mobile Maker Lab are based on ideas generated by industry – and are carried out in partnership with industry,” said Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce. “We’re glad that, supported by this grant, more young people will have the opportunity to engage with advanced manufacturing and design in their classrooms. We are pleased to support such industry clusters as they collaborate to make their business ecosystem stronger.”

The Lab will include a wide array of advanced technologies including laser cutters, 3D printers, computer-aided-design workstations, CNC routers, hand and power tools and advanced materials. The equipment will be used inside the trailer in a creative classroom space, or be quickly moved and reassembled in a shop or gymnasium. The trailer is expected to be about 28’ in length.

“The Mobile Maker Lab creates a flexible, scalable classroom and shop for educators, students, and industry partners,” said Terry Nathan, President of IYRS. “While it is about building awareness of new manufacturing technologies and associated jobs, it lets people get their hands on the equipment.”

According to Charlie McLaughlin at Rhode Island College, “this unique collaboration will create rich learning experiences in manufacturing for students who may not have access to advanced manufacturing equipment. The project will enable them to explore engineering and other technical fields.”

The Mobile Maker Lab concept comes at a time in which school budgets are challenged to purchase such equipment. State support of the maker lab helps ensure that maker labs get to more schools, preparing Rhode Island’s future workforce for real job opportunity in a manufacturing world that is increasing not about pushing buttons or repetitive and boring assembly line work.

“Polaris is thrilled to be part of the Mobile Maker Lab project and partnered with the innovative groups at IYRS and RIC,” said Christian Cowan, Director of Polaris MEP. “Our manufacturing partners continue to ask for progressive methods to engage students, and this program led by IYRS will help bring modern advanced manufacturing concepts to them.”

The Industry Cluster Grant awarded to IYRS represents phase one of the project, which will begin planning and development in the coming weeks. The Planning Grant will allow the participating parties to examine in detail the specific equipment needs and associated short-term curricula, as well as providing the opportunity for the team to reach out to schools and build the lab’s travel schedule.

More from What'sUpNewp

Fiona rushes at Atlantic Canada with strong rains and wind

Strong rains and winds lashed the Atlantic Canada region as Fiona closed in early Saturday as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone, and Canadian forecasters warned it could be one of the most severe storms in the country’s history.

Judge stuck at 60 home runs, Yankees beat Red Sox 5-4

Judge was held without a home run for the third straight game, keeping him at 60 for the season and one shy of Roger Maris’ American League record, but the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Friday night.

Loading...

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.