Pumpkin Puzzles at Charles Dickens

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These mini pumpkin puzzles were created with the laser cutter in the Mobile Fab Lab.  Students had to put on their thinking caps to put together a puzzle that had no picture on it!  After gluing the pieces of the puzzle together the students decorated their 3D pumpkins with glitter glue.   The 3rd and 4th graders did a great job with this STEAM activity! We also visited a Pre-K room and loved seeing the littles ones express their creativity with makers on their pumpkins!


Awesome Incentive Robots at Hannah Gibbons!!


The students at Hannah Gibbons were so enthusiastic and excited about the Mobile Fab Lab, I can’t wait to go back and see them again!   For this visit, the Gold Scholar students (kids who did well in all of their classes and didn’t have any disciplinary issues) were rewarded with a trip to the Mobile Fab Lab! The students were able to learn about how the laser works and see it in action as well as get to make a little Fab Robot Keychain of their own!

The younger students, who can have a hard time with the tools, learned about the seasons and created a four season tree with laser cut leaves!


New Project Idea! Holiday Activity!

img_4891These adorable holiday decorations can be made by any student grades K-8!  Each decoration consists of 2 laser cut pieces of wood or cardboard that students can decorate however they wish with glitter and glue.  Older students can work on designing their own snowflake or tree silhouettes and learn to use the laser to cut their designs out themselves!

This activity could be done in half an hour or as long as a whole day !

Rockets, Rockets, Everywhere!

It has been so exciting and fun to explore science with Rockets with students all over CMSD for the past month! img_1180


We started by taking the Mobile Fab Lab trailer to Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center to make rockets with MC2’s 9th graders!  Students were able to work collaboratively to shoot rockets outside right next to Lake Erie!


Last week the MFL team was at Orchard Elementary school where we made rockets with Ms. Btebit’s middle school classroom for students with individual education plans. The students were enthusiastic and had a blast making rockets and launching them in their classroom!

Our next stop at orchard was with the 2nd graders! These little ones were thrilled to make rockets after watching a rocket video in class with their teacher!  The kids worked collaboratively to make a rocket and launch it! Then they made adjustments to their rocket to try to improve the distance!


The last rocket stop was at Warner Girl’s Leadership Academy where fourth grade young ladies worked together to create and launch rockets on a beautiful fall day.   Students recorded the distance their rockets went and will later be analyzing the data by finding averages and making graphs of their data!


All of these Rocket Launch days were filled with science and fun!   Students got to build their own rocket using straws, tape, clay and laser cut wings!  This one hour long mini maker activity is a great way for students to have a hands on learning experience and get them making their own data for analysis in math and science.

img_1266This is a great mini maker activity, or can be expanded to a full on Fab activity during a week long investigation into rockets where students can design their own wings using computers and laser cut their own wings!


Interested in doing a rocket launch with your own students?  Contact the fab lab:  CleMobileFabLab@gmail.com



Giant Project Idea List

All of the projects here are just a starting point. The Fab Team is happy to work with individual schools or teachers to create unique learning experiences!  Most activities can be scaled for any grade level or time frame.  Please contact the Fab Team for more information or if you have an idea of your own! CleMobileFabLab@gmail.com

Straw Rockets

rocketsStudents build their own mini rocket out of a straw, paper wings, tape and clay.  After launching the rockets students get to experiment to try to get their rocket to go further!   Great for science students K-12!  This activity can be done in an hour or can be part of up to a week long exploration into rockets, it also has great connections to Math and Science for ALL grades!

Learn more HERE!

Trees through the Seasons


This is a perfect activity for younger students K-2!  Students begin by talking about seasons and how they effect the leaves around us!   This art and science lesson allows students to color leaves for all season and create a Laser Cut tree to glue their leaves to!

Learn more Here!

Robot Keychains


Robot Keychains is a great little activity to get students excited about making and learning about cool technologies!   Students learn about Laser cutting and practice fine motor skills as they create a little robot keychain of their own!  The Robots can be customized for your school or event!   This can be a great full class activity, or some schools use it as a reward or incentive project for kids who have perfect attendance or have reached another achievement!

Learn more HERE!

Laser Cut Holiday Decorations


This activity is great around the holidays but can be adapted to create other shapes as well!  Students create a 3d stand up shape from laser cut pieces and can decorate them using glue and glitter!

Also great for: Halloween, St. Patrick’s day and Mother’s day (these ones have a cute spot to glue in a picture of the little one!)

Game Design


This is a more involved activity that is best done over a few weeks with students grades 5-12.  Board games are very fun and easy to play, but some are much more complex than we realize!  This activity allows students to deconstruct their favorite game before designing their own!  We can laser cut the game board and 3D print the pieces!

Learn more HERE!

Wind Turbine

54ca5eb75debf_-_ea-wind-turbine-05-0413-deStudents will experiment with different paper blades to determine which shape creates the most energy. This is a GREAT activity for any alternative energy or sustainability unit!  The Wind Turbine activity can be expanded to include laser cutting – students can digitally design and fabricate their own blades!

Learn more HERE!

Press Fit Boxes- Tissues, Piggy Banks, Journals, Dreams

images (1).jpegThis is a design activity. Students will use MakerCase to create a pressfit box then will design its purpose- it could be a cover for a tissue box, a piggy bank, or a secret keeper for them to record their dreams or a journal!  Students can then decorate the box anyway they’d like!

Learn more HERE!



Stackforms are a great introduction to many different digital fabrication programs! Students will use Tinkercad, 123DMake and Corel Draw to laser cut plans to create a 3D animal or shape and have to find the volume of an irregular shape! This activity gets kids thinking abstractly while applying spacial reasoning and math!

Learn more HERE!

Alphabet Magnets

il_570xn-386004865_tuqnStudents will learn about the Epilog Laser cutter as they see the letters cut out from wood!  Next the kids can decorate the magnets with paint or markers or decoupage pictures of items that begin with that letter! Great for phonics!

Learn More Here!




Students will learn about tessellations and MC Escher before making their own tessellating shapes by hand. The activity can continue by digitizing the design and laser cutting tessellations.

Laser Cut Magnets


Students can design there own image, or we can scan pictures to laser cut magnets! These are great for a classroom management tool!  Students can create any design they like, or as a separate project teachers can have them design a logo for the class!



GIK (Great Invention Kit) is a great way to introduce kids to a laser cutter and get them making things!  These small cardboard pieces can be thought of as a different version of Legos. Students get to see a GIK Kit get laser cut then let their imaginations run wild as they create little mini inventions of their own and can take a GIK Kit home with them!

Make your own Puzzle!


This can be done with students of any age PreK to seniors!  They can decorate a piece of wood any way they want using markers and then we will laser cut it into pieces.

Create your own Mask


This activity can be done with students of any grade!  After learning about a different culture students can decorate their own mask!  This could also be done with the ‘design your own super hero’ activity!


3d Printing- Mini Keychain


This activity is an introduction into 3D modeling and printing. Students use Tinkercad.com, a great free website, to tinker and design their own keychain with their name on it!  We will bring a 3D printer to your classroom so students can see how they work and 3D print a keychain for every student in your class (and even the teacher too!)

Learn More Here

3d Printing-  Bird Feeder/ Bird House

hexa_bird_house.png This Activity requires students to be able to use Tinkercad, so it can start with an introduction or we can jump right in.  Students design a bird feeder focusing on a specific shape (the one pictured is make of mostly hexagons). They will have to make precision drawings, make a cardboard prototype, 3D model the bird feeder and finally print in on a 3D printer.  The entire Engineering Process!

Blueprints 101


This activity walks students through the process of a simple sketch, to a precision blue print drawing and allows them to design a bird house.  The design and worksheet part of the activity can be done in class with their regular math or science teacher and then they can learn how to digitize their design and use the laser cutter to create their very own bird house.  This is a great community activity- the bird houses can be put up around the school and students can track if birds use them,etc.     See how to do it in your class here. 

Hamster House Design

hampster This activity is great for any class that has a class pet!  Students work together to decide on parameters for their design and digitally design their own Hamster House to be 3D printed!  A great activity for grades 4-8!

A 3D Printed Volcano!


This is a great twist on a classic science experiment!  Students learn about chemical reactions, geography and earth science!  Kids get to make a map of the Ring of Fire and other major volcanoes around the world before digitally designing a globe of their own with holes in it to represent volcanic activity.  After 3D printing the globes the students get to see what it would look like if all the volcanoes exploded at once by conducting the traditional baking soda and vinegar experiment!

DIY Kaleidoscope


Kaleidoscopes are a great project for students studying light!  This STEAM project allows students to think about how light moves and engineering to build and decorate their own Kaleidoscope!

Paper Circuits

papercircuit16 (1).jpg

Paper circuits are a great way to get kids thinking about science and how electricity works!  This workshops allows students to learn about circuits and make their own light up paper circuit with copper tape, and LED, a 3V battery and a binder clip!

Light Up Push Out Cards


This is a true STEAM activity. Students can choose from many card options, from a house (as seen), a building, a Christmas Tree or a Roller Coaster and use the laser cutter to cut out the card. They then have to use patience and fine motor skills to make the card Push Out (which is trickier than it looks!) and build a simple paper circuit on the back of the card to make it light up.   This activity is great for students in grades 6-12 and is perfect for any holiday!  Students can also customize their card by adding windows or other designs.

Learn More Here

What do we know about the USA?


In this activity each class will make one BIG make of the USA!  Each student will be assigned 1 or 2 states and will have to become an expert on that state. They can write and or draw on the back of the wooden pieces facts like, the capital, state flower, largest industry, etc.  Everyone in the class is engaged and learning and together they will know a LOT about the whole country.



This is a great students in grades 5-8!  Kids can learn a little about topography and how the maps work before designing and creating their own maps of a given area or making their own out of thin cardboard and painting to represent a real map!



In this art activity students will take a photo of their profile and use technology to laser cut their profile out!  This can be a great activity to do around the holidays to give away as a gift!

Make your own T-Shirt


This is a great activity for a club or sports team or for individuals.  Students can use our Vinyl Cutter to design their own t-shirt and make a template. Next they use the template and screen printing materials to create their own shirt!

Learn More Here



Other Cool Ideas we want to try:

  • design your own playground!
  • build a catapult!
  • rubberband helicopters!
  • build water filters for countries without clean water
  • design a zoo habitat

MFL in the Labor Day Parade!


The Mobile Fab Lab was in Cleveland’s Labor Day Parade last weekend!  15 MC2 STEM students along with Ms. Mack and Mr. St.Claire participated in the 11th Congressional District Lab Day Parade on September 5th!

It was great to be a part of a fun Cleveland Community Activity. We really enjoyed the all-CMSD drum line and the students had a blast tossing candy to the parade watchers!


The MFL Is gearing up to visit schools in the next few weeks, email CleMobileFabLab@gmail.com with questions to to request a visit to your school or event!

Full Day Workshops

One Day workshops are designed for one class at a time (20-25 students) and take a full school day to complete.

We are still working on creating more full day workshops, but if you like a workshop we have in our 1 hour or 1 week long sections, please let us know, we can certainly adapt it to a full day!

Full Day Light Up Push Out cards

Full Day Sackforms


Mini Workshops that can be scaled up:

Mini Workshop Straw Rockets


Mobile Fab Lab Request Form

Week Long Workshops

Week Long workshops are designed for 20-75 students over the course of a
week. Most of these workshops come with the Mobile Fab Lab trailer and a team of 4-8 fabbers to help with the activity.  These workshops are more involved and require multiple sessions throughout the week (approximately 15 hours during the week) to complete a Fab project from start to finish. All week long workshops focus on The EngiDSC_2550neering Design Process. We hope that every student who participates in one of these workshops thinks about what they are making through this lens and eventually is capable of applying it to other problems they face.


Week Long Workshop: Angry Rockets

Week Long Workshop: Light Up Push Out Cards


Week Long Workshop: Freak the Might, Ornithopters

Week Long Workshop: Flying Machines

Week Long Workshop: Circuits Circuits Circuits

Week Long Workshop: Glowing Lanterns





Mobile Fab Lab Request Form

Mini Workshops

Mini Workshops are 1-hour long quick and fun STEM projects to get kids making and learning fast!  DSC_0012Mini workshops are for ONE class at a time and require little to no set up or pre work.  Our Mini Workshops can be scheduled last minute or in advance, a Fab Lab Team member will come to your school and run this quick and fun workshop (the trailer does not come on these visits)


Mini Workshop Press Fit BoxDSC_0069

Mini Workshop Straw Rockets

Mini Workshop 3D Printing

Mini Workshop: Robot Keychains

Mini Workshop Balloon Racecars

Mini Workshop Seasons of Trees

Mini Workshop Design a Windmill

Mini Workshop  Push Out cards

MiniWorkshop Sliceforms

Mini  Workshop Circuits


Mobile Fab Lab Request Form


Have another idea for a Mini Workshop? Please contact the Fab Team: CleMobileFabLab@gmail.com


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Mobile Fab Lab? 

A Fab Lab (short for Fabrication Laboratory) or a MakerSpace is a creative, open work environment. Fab Labs and MakerSpaces have lots of technology and tools and encourage participants to MAKE stuff, not just talk about it or think about ideas, actually make prototypes and solutions to real world challenges.  The educational theory of Making is that students should be doing and making things all the time to really learn content. This hands on approach to education is changing the way teachers, students, and parents think about school and learning.

The Mobile Fab Lab is a mini Fab Lab on wheels!  Our Mobile Fab lab is housed in a 28 foot long trailer and contains big technology machines including laser cutters, 3D printers, a ShopBot and power tools! It also has lots of electronics materials and other craft objects that are helpful for making.  Our Mobile Fab Lab travels around Ohio and around the Country visiting schools and showing students and teachers why hands on learning is so important and inspiring many to build a Fab Lab of their own!

  • Do I have to pay for the Mobile Fab Lab to come to my school? 

A Mobile Fab Lab visit to any CMSD school is free. The CMSD school is only responsible for covering the cost of the materials consumed on the visit.

Any NON-CMSD school or organization will be charged for a MFL visit as well as covering the cost of materials. Details will be provided after a request is made. Please have a budget in mind when requesting the MFL.

  • How can I schedule a MFL visit? 

Please check out the Request the Mobile Fab Lab page to learn more about scheduling a visit and requesting the lab.

  • Who runs the Mobile Fab Lab? Who will help the students with the MFL activities? 

The MFL is run by Sarah Wallace and Andrea Lane (learn more on the Fab Lab Team page) and student interns from MC2 STEM High School.  Either Sarah or Andrea (or both) will always be with the MFL on a visit. Depending on the activity, number of days and students Sarah and Andrea may bring one or two other adult helpers and one to four student interns to assist with the activities.

  • What kind of technologies are available on the MFL?

The MFL currently has two Epilog Laser Cutters, a Roland Vinyl Cutter, two Ultimaker 3d Printers and a ShopBot Buddy on the mobile trailer.  We also have additional machines such as a Modela Circuit Maker that can be brought onto the lab if needed. The lab also has a large amount of smaller technology tools including power tools, soldering stations, lighting and wire electronics that can be used for a Fab project.

  • What kind of Safety Measures are in place on the MFL?

There are power tools and other dangerous materials on the MFL, it is NOT a playground. Therefore, students and adults will be expected to adhere to the safety rules set by the Fab Lab team. If anyone does not follow the rules, they will be asked to leave the lab.

All participants must wear closed-toe shoes in the MFL. When told by a MFL team member, participants may also be required to wear protective eye glasses, ear plugs, and or gloves, depending on the activity.

  • Can my students use the machines on their own? 

No one is permitted to use the machines or tools on the trailer without supervision until they are ‘certified’ by a Fab Lab Team Member- this includes adults!  After you are certified on a machine you will receive a certification card that you can take to other Fab Labs!

  • How long can the MFL visit my school? 

The Mobile Fab Lab can do 1 day visits (without the trailer), or 3-5 day visits(with the trailer).

  • How many students can be in the lab at one time?

Depending on the age of the students, only 5-15 students can be in the trailer at one time.  The Lab can accommodate up to 30 students max at one time (using different stations in the lab and classroom.  Depending on the duration of the visit and activity chosen the lab can handle up to 4 classes per day with a short activity, or 1 class over an entire week for a more involved activity.

  • How long does a MFL activity take?  

Some activities can be done in an hour, others take 20 hours.  Depending on how long the Lab is at your school and the number of students you want to work in the lab, the Fab Lab Team will work with you to pick an appropriate activity.

  • Why are people taking my picture? 

The MFL Team wants to share the awesome stuff we make together! We love to tweet and blog about our experiences! By participating in a MFL activity, the MFL team has the right to take your picture while participating in the activity and use it for their own materials. We understand that some students’ guardians may not have signed a media release form, if that is the case we have blue paper bracelets for you to put on your students to signify to us that we should not take their picture.

Please contact us with any questions or for more information about the MFL : CleMobileFabLab@gmail.com

Branding/Logo Workshop 12.6.14


Branding Workshop

This is a $80 interactive workshop to guide you through the design process of logo creating and or branding. You will learn how to design a logo, make it into a file, put it on a website or use with technology. The $80 will also go towards a t-shirt creation and wearable session using laser cutters and vinyl cutter (sticker maker) and more. There will be design professionals to help and assists anyone that comes! This is for anybody!!! Athletes, musicians, rappers, singers, students, dancers, designers, actors/actresses and anybody who wants to create their own brand. YOU MUST RSVP BY DEC 1!!!

FABLAB @ John Muir: Kindergartners

THoughts go here!

FABLAB with Andrea

The kindergartners were studying the different types of trees and how the leaves change colors depending on the season. With this age group I decided to let them design their own leaves and put them on their class tree. During the season change the students would change the leaves. The students were very attentive and orderly that you would think they were second graders!

View original post

Halftone Photo made on a CNC Handibot

After surfing the web I came across a cool CNC routed photograph that I really wanted to make. At first I was suggested to use Photo VCarve, a vectric software, to convert the photo to a component and then mill it out. That was WAY to difficult and I knew there had to be a simpler way to create this file. So after some more web surfing I came across a “Hack A Day” post that used an application that converted images much easier. So I took a picture of a baby’s face and opened it in the application. Once you are in the application you are able to edit the quality of the circles that will make up your .DXF file. I chose the option to “optimize” the amount of circles and that gave me my desired look. Then I exported as a .DXF . I was fortunate enough to be able to use the Handibot from Shopbot that today so the settings will be a little different depending on your machine.

After I created my .DXF file, I opened it in Asipre (Vectric Software) to create my part file. When you open the halftone file in a software package it just looks like a bunch of circles. DO NOT FEAR! once you select them all and group them,  you can then use a V-Carve bit to mill them out. I used a 90 degree 1/2″ v-carve and it took 40.02 minutes at a feed and plunge rate at 3″ /sec . This came out great it was designed for a 6″ x 8″ piece of wood that will later be sealed, sanded, and stained. So check for an update later!


Direct Link to the halftone converter: http://www.students.tut.fi/~syvajar3/DXF_Halftone_15.zip

Welcome Project CoFAB!

12.17.13 was the first meeting with a group of students to start a new movement. What is the movement? Project CoFAB” is the movement! A group of eleven students from the 3 different campus of MC2 STEM High School came together to create this STUDENT lead collaboration between the high school, but they didn’t stop there. These students are passionate about learning by the use of a FABLab, wanting to give similar opportunities to other students around the world. It was formed from a collaboration between the high school and TIES (Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM) to promote more student lead involvement in STEM using FabLab technologies. Lead by students, there will be many different things going on but just to name a few; demos, learning sessions, and even challenges proposed to STEM schools Globally. CHECK US OUT ON YOUTUBE!