Home Cardinal Schools CMS PHabLab Grand Opening

CMS PHabLab Grand Opening

Cardinal students get an upclose look at the CNC machine that will be programmed to cut and engrave various materials. (MP Photo/CSD)

Dozens of families and community supporters came to Cardinal Middle School on Aug. 5 for the Grand Opening of the CMS PHabLab! The lab is a state-of-the-art fabrication lab that has been implemented into the former CMS library space. This is an elite 21st century learning space that includes 3D printers, a laser cutter, CNC milling machine, Arduino microcontrollers, and a Google JamBoard. The PHabLab will support our STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative while helping to challenge students to engage in the design process through project based learning.  “It is very exciting to be able to offer this unique experience to the students, staff, and community members of the Cardinal Local School District,” says District STEM Coordinator Shaun Spence. “I am looking forward to helping our staff find creative and educational ways to incorporate the lab into whatever the lesson is that they’re teaching.”

Cardinal community members inspect the items that have been made in the CMS PHabLab to date. They include #HuskiePride keychains, 3D objects, and etched designs. (MP Photo/CSD)

During the grand opening event, Spence and CMS technology instructor Mandi Matchinga spoke to the crowd, answered questions, and demonstrated how each of the machines works. Four of the eight 3D printers were in various phases of creating a vase, the one of the two milling machines was being programmed to etch several wood projects, one of the two laser printers was working hard to create the perfect portrait, and there were several Huskies keychains on hand for visitors to take home that were all created on our machines. All scholars in the middle school will have opportunities to use the lab as part of daily instruction. Upon leaving the middle school as eighth graders, scholars will all be certified to operate the machinery in the lab.  “We are the only district in this area, and maybe even all of Northeast Ohio, to have a space like this,” said middle school Principal Andy Cardinal. “The skills our students will gain from being able to utilize the technology in here while they’re at the middle school will only help to set them apart down the road.”

Both Matchinga and Spence spent several days in trainings this summer to learn how to operate the equipment in the PHabLab. The goal is to get all students in grades five and six into the lab every other day for one semester and students in grades seven and eight into the lab every day for one semester. “I am beyond excited to get work started in here with all of my classes this year,” said Matchinga. “This is such a beautiful space to learn, grow, create, and solve. That’s what this will be about for my classes, finding solutions to everyday obstacles within this building, their lives, and the community. What can we make that provides a benefit for someone? How can we help solve an everyday problem? These students already have a lot of ideas and I cannot wait to see what we create!”


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