Betabox Comes to Western NC

On November 8th, community stakeholders and students explored Betabox, funded by the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. STEM West of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, partnered with the Catawba County EDC Committee of 100 and the North Carolina Center of Engineering Technologies (NCCET) to explore this mobile lab model. The day began with breakfast and networking of community stakeholders who then moved into the lab that had been delivered to the NCCET parking lot. The lab held devices similar to those used in our local STEM businesses such as laser printers and 3-D printers, along with traditional supplies: wires, tape, glue guns, pipe cleaners, etc. After the business presentation, student groups arrived from Discovery High School, Bunker Hill High School, and Northview Middle School. Working in groups, students were asked to start brainstorming a complaint list or those things that create problems in their everyday lives. Each group then selected one problem to try and solve. Working with the staff of the mobile lab, the student groups designed solutions and presented them to the larger group. Utilizing this maker-space setting, students implemented engineering to create a prototype to solve the problem of interest to them.

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