[Humanist] 24.361 I-CHASS's Fab Lab in Alaska

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Sep 24 23:58:24 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 361.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 07:28:23 +1000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: I-CHASS's Fab Lab in Alaska

> From: I-CHASS <chass at ncsa.illinois.edu>
> Date: 24 September 2010 23:00:07 GMT+10:00
> To: "willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk" <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
> Subject: NSF’s Arctic Social Sciences Program Awards I-CHASS Collaboration $100,000 to Host Fab Lab Workshop in Alaska
> The Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) is pleased to announce that the project Alaska Federation of Natives Fab Lab Demonstration Workshop has been awarded $100,000 in funding through an EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) award from the National Science Foundation’s Arctic Social Sciences Program.
> A collaboration between the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS), and the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab (CUCFL), the workshop will introduce and demonstrate the capabilities of a Fab Lab at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Fairbanks, Alaska, on October 21-23, 2010. During the three-day convention, Fab Lab volunteers from the University of Illinois will engage Alaska Natives in the utilization of new technology and offer hands-on demonstrations of the capabilities of a Fab Lab. “The Fab Lab demonstration will directly engage Native students in science and engineering,” said Julie Kitka, President of the Alaska Federation of Natives and the project’s Principal Investigator. “Holding the Fab Lab at the AFN Convention, where a significant number of Native leaders, students, elders, parents, and educators are gathered, will demonstrate how technology can be tailored to meet local needs; encourage creativity; and demonstrate that advanced technology can be used in even the most remote locations. Furthermore, we believe that introducing the concept to the larger Native community will promote interest and encourage involvement statewide.”
> “The Fab Lab is a technology platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to invent, to mentor,” said Dr. Alan B. Craig, Associate Director for Human-Computer Interaction at I-CHASS, who will coordinate the technical and educational portion of the project. “The lab’s mission is to provide a venue for community members to learn about and experience new technology while exploring their own creativity and innovativeness.”
> “CUCFL has a particular interest in building new connections with new communities who can benefit from these tools and ideas,” continued Dr. Betty Jo Barrett, an associate professor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois and coordinator for the CUCFL component of the project. “Its mission is to promote ingenuity, invention and inspiration by introducing students of any age to modern prototyping and fabrication equipment. The goal is to encourage creativity as well as an interest in architecture, art, computing, design, engineering, mathematics, science, and technical trades. Community access, at a reasonable cost, builds local capability with global links to the entire Fab Lab network – enabling personal growth, economic development and cross-cultural understanding. Fab Labs encourage people to build virtually anything they can imagine.”
> As part of this workshop, several students who are involved in the “Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn” project in Boston’s South End Technology Center Fab Lab will work collaboratively with students in Alaska on several projects together and to illustrate how the worldwide network of Fab Lab bridges geography, culture, and age, while empowering creators to solve problems and have fun together. Using video conferencing technologies, the students in Boston and Alaska will work together to develop a joint project that they will then execute together in the demo Fab Lab at the convention.
> EAGER awards are made to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. “This demonstration workshop is one of several projects that I-CHASS is involved with in Alaska that illustrate the potential application of new technologies to directly impact historically under-served communities,” said Dr. Kevin Franklin, Executive Director of I-CHASS. “This award also illustrates I-CHASS’s commitment to explore innovative technologies and we are excited at the continued opportunities afforded by our collaborations with NSF’s Office of Polar Programs.
> For further information, please contact Alan Craig.
> * * *
> Founded in 2004 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I-CHASS charts new ground in high-performance computing and the humanities, arts, and social sciences by creating both learning environments and spaces for digital discovery. I-CHASS presents path-breaking research, computational resources, collaborative tools, and educational programming to showcase the future of the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
> For more information on I-CHASS, please visit: http://www.ichass.illinois.edu

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