By Erin Coller

At the San Diego Maker Faire, known as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” held  at Balboa Park in San Diego one local organization, Fab Lab San Diego, aimed to make a lasting impression about the power of electricity to the hundreds of participants.

To achieve their goal, Fab Lab San Diego worked with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to develop hands-on activities giving more than 400 participants, an opportunity to bring their projects to life through the power of electricity. The teams created simple circuits that powered LEDs. The activity was a key step in launching Fab Lab’s broader initiative that focuses on how electricity can help to clean the air.

Image courtesy of SDG&E
Image courtesy of SDG&E

“Fab Lab is focused on promoting innovation and education in San Diego, and we look forward to working with SDG&E to develop lesson plans for K-12 students in order to expand understanding of electric vehicle technology in schools and informal learning environments across San Diego,” said Katie Rast, Fab Lab program director.

Fab Lab plans to expand on the activities from the Maker Faire to develop lesson plans and activities that will offer educators and students the chance to explore the fundamentals of electricity, understand circuits, and interact with the parts that make an electric vehicle function.

Through these activities, students will ultimately gain a greater understanding about electric vehicles, how they function, and how alternative energy-powered transportation like clean electric vehicles helps to reduce carbon, cleaning the air. These exercises will involve students in an exploration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) subjects, applying problem solving, math, engineering and design concepts.

Image courtesy of SDG&E
Image courtesy of SDG&E

Fab Lab San Diego is one part of a global network that connects 100 laboratories in more than 30 countries, from South Africa to Norway, to an ashram in India. Fab Labs are building one of the largest networks of knowledge and people in the world that is growing exponentially. Worldwide, it is expected to double in the next two years.

These labs are production workshops and small-scale innovation hubs equipped with digital fabrication machines and technologies for the production of objects, tools and electronics. The Fab Labs explore the relationship between the digital and physical world, beginning as a project to extend the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. The project has become a worldwide network of people who investigate the popularization of new modes of production and invention that will affect all levels of our life.

Fab Lab San Diego is a founding tenant of Makers Quarter – a neighborhood of Artists, Entrepreneurs, and Dreamers located in San Diego’s upper East Village.

To sign up for membership, classes or office rental, visit Fab Lab San Diego in East Village downtown at 847 14th Street at the corner of 14th and E Street (visit for an overview of staffed hours and more information on how to contact Fab Lab via email).

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