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PAST Proudly Designated Fab Academy Node in Global Fab Lab Network


Media Contacts: Lori Trent, PAST Foundation -

Sherry Lassiter, The Fab Foundation -

February 5, 2024

PAST Proud to be Designated as a Select Fab Academy Node

for the Global Fab Lab Network

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The PAST Foundation is proud to announce that it has been designated as one of only a select few US nodes in the MIT Fab Lab Network to host the highly acclaimed  global Fab Academy. The Fab Academy is a program of the Fab Foundation, a global steward of the Fab Lab Network and a spinoff from the MIT program that created fab labs. This distinction will enable PAST to officially teach the global Fab Academy course, helping to spread STEM and maker initiatives throughout the US.


MIT scaled its fab labs around the world to encompass a global community of makers and digital fabricators of all skills levels and backgrounds. The nexus of this global network is a single, advanced digital fabrication research facility at MIT, located in the Center for Bits and Atoms. Today the fab lab network includes more than 2,700 fab labs across 135 countries located in both remote communities as well as city centers. These labs provide community access to advanced technical equipment such as laser cutters, computer-controlled milling machines, and 3D printers, along with the education and training to use the equipment and to create new technologies.


Each fab lab reflects its specific community’s interests or priorities. With the arrival of Intel, Amazon, and Google to the Central Ohio area, PAST’s initial focus will be on building a pipeline of high school and higher-level graduates that will be able to fill our workforce employment needs.


“One of PAST’s focuses has always been to help students best prepare themselves for the world ahead. That clearly includes the ever-changing future of work,” said Dr. Andrew Bruening, Program Innovations Officer. “Becoming a Fab Academy  Node, teaching the same content that students learn at MIT will help us expand our educational offerings making them available to even more students in and around the US.”

PAST Foundation has been partnering with institutions like the Fab Foundation,  including over 500 business and industry partners and 1,000 school districts across the globe, for nearly 25 years by connecting with 2.75 million students and more than 22,000 educators offering 595 programs at over 120 locations. This added resource will help PAST continue to teach the importance of STEM by helping students, educators, and community members experience it first-hand.

“We are very excited to have PAST join us as a Fab Academy Node. PAST and its partners will include opportunities at the Fab Lab for under-employed/represented individuals to gain hands-on experience in advanced manufacturing through internships and apprenticeships, providing each with the practical skills and knowledge needed to secure high-paying jobs in this growing industry,” said Sherry J. Lassiter, Ed.M., President & CEO of the Fab Foundation.

Beginning as a single lab, expanding to a network, creating and connecting a global community, and now accelerating its potential is no easy feat. This initiative has the ability to make new economic opportunity available to everyone and significantly change peoples’ lives. As our world continues to develop at exponential speed, we must be aware and prepared for the future ahead.


About The Fab Foundation:

The Fab Foundation was formed in 2009 to facilitate and support the growth of the international fab lab network as well as the development of regional capacity-building organizations. The Fab Foundation is a US non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that emerged from MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms Fab Lab Program. Our mission is to provide access to the tools, the knowledge and the financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make (almost) anything, and thereby creating opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods around the work. Community organizations, educational institutions and non-profit concerns are our primary beneficiaries. About PAST Foundation:

PAST, a non-profit organization, is a leader in designing innovative educational opportunities across the nation and around the world, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. During PAST’s 22 years, it has impacted hundreds of thousands of students and educators while engaging hundreds of businesses and industry leaders. Building a community of learners that helps students prepare to solve the world’s problems is our core outcome.

PAST was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report, being the only Ohio educational entity included in this publication. In 2021, PAST’s Innovation Lab was featured in Forbes Magazine as a promising example to “Re-imagine High School” and also recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design in 2015.

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