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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager

Howard Middle School Lands Google Funded ‘Fab Lab’

L-R Google senior policy counsel Harry Wingo lauds the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science during a presentation of $250,000 for a "Fab Lab." Hassan Minor, Ph.D., founder of (MS)² and Howard University Senior Vice President, accepted the award.

WASHINGTON – Students at the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)² and Washington-area students will soon “dream in 3D” thanks to a $250,000 grant from Google Inc. on March 7.

The grant, through the Tides Foundation, will offset the cost of completing a state-of-the-art computer-automated design and manufacturing lab at (MS)². Students will use the new “Fab Lab” to construct prototypes of their own inventions. A short video about the original Fab Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology got students very excited.

“The Google event was a good opportunity to learn about what Google does and how Google works,” said Deanna Moore, a seventh grader at (MS)².“Having a FabLab is really cool because at most schools you have to travel to other places to learn about science, while we can just walk across the hall.”

Students from (MS)² and across the nation’s capital attended a panel discussion and expo on science and technology held at (MS)². Panelists Harry Wingo, Google senior policy counsel, Ahna Smith, chief of staff for D.C Deputy Mayor for Education, and Provost James Wyche, Ph.D., inspired students to consider a career in science.

Hassan Minor, Ph.D., founder of (MS)² and Howard University Senior Vice President,  said the Fab Lab will be an important hands-on engineering asset to students throughout Washington D.C..

“It will let you dream in 3D,” he told students.  “Students will be able to conceive designs and then use the lab’s computer-assisted design and manufacturing tools to make models.”

Wingo said Google is committed to science and technology education in schools to

expanding opportunities for tomorrow’s innovators today. If you can think it, the lab will help you build it.  Google is excited about the success that Howard University Middle School has had and we look forward to a great partnership with this project,” Wingo said.

Yohance Maqubela, the chief operating officer at (MS)², led the effort to obtain the grant. Maqubela guided attendees through the expo, which focused on science, technology and architecture. Several student-designed robotics and youth smartphone applications were showcased.

The Fab Lab will to be built in the summer adjacent to school’s existing building. The grand opening is expected in the fall.

Founded in 2005, the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)² is a public charter school committed to academic excellence, with a specific focus on mathematics and science.

Located on the main campus of Howard,  (MS)², is the first charter school in the area to be established by a University. It features a rigorous academic model designed to prepare middle school students for college and careers in math, science, and engineering; a longer school day with accelerated instructional programs; small class sizes with a low student to teacher ratio; and exposure to enrichment activities led by agencies such as NASA, NOAA and programs offered by Howard University faculty, staff and students.

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