Students at Metropolitan Community College aren’t short on perks. The school works with the Greater Omaha Area Chamber of Commerce to provide a pool of skilled workers for open career positions, offers a wide variety of programs to choose from, and is working to update their campus and open new locations in which students can learn.
The college offers night classes, online classes for distance learners, and classes on weekdays, and the Financial Aid Office works hard to ensure that students are receiving a top dollar value for their money. However, there are some extra benefits to being an MCC student that don’t appear at first glance. For potential makers, manufacturers, educators, and skilled workers, or even those who simply enjoy working with their hands, MCC’s Fab Lab is the place to be.
It’s a lab filled with tools, technology, and training to help students create almost anything they want. It’s a space for creativity, exploration, and allowing makers to test and try ideas on their own timeline. The education program at Fab Lab Omaha is designed for educators to introduce mechanical, electrical, chemical, and structural engineering to their students. The technology in the Fab Lab also helps students acquire valuable hands-on experience with 2D and 3D design software and digital fabrication tools, an important experience for future makers.
The lab also offers noncredit classes for learners on specific projects, and works with entrepreneurs to provide a high-quality method of prototyping new projects. If you’re marketing a small business or attempting to create banners, signage, and t-shirts, their Small Business Entrepreneur noncredit course may be a perfect fit for you, as the instructors lead a workshop designed to turn marketing materials from an unaffordable luxury into something you can create yourself. In terms of credit classes for MCC students, there’s a class titled “How to Build Almost Anything” that teaches students how to correctly setup and use hand and power tools, then allows them to work on personal projects for the majority of the semester.
Finally, Fab Lab offers a variety of noncredit courses for the general community, and some of these are very specific and specialized. For example, local musician and area middle school STEM teacher George Walker enrolled in the “How to Build A Electric Guitar Class” and handcrafted his very own guitar. “It was impressive that MCC provided all the materials and equipment needed to create this masterpiece,” Walker says.
He sculpted and shaped mahogany and maple wood, bonded them together, and soldered all the electronic components to create a high-quality sound. “This was my opportunity to make a guitar with the corrections necessary to have a piece that would suit me perfectly,” Walker says. The guitar turned out beautifully, and Walker uses it to show his middle-school STEM students that crafting anything is possible.
Whether it’s for a guided, specific project or on your own agenda, Fab Lab is essentially designed to have the correct tools available for those who want to explore, work on hands-on projects, and learn how to use advanced technology–what a cool opportunity! You can learn more about working with the Fab Lab here.
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Photo credit: MCC