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Partners

Our partnership was formed through the power of connections, of shared values, complementary expertise, and a mutual commitment to empowering women in STEAM through the power of FabLabs.

FabConnectHer brings together organisations from Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Iceland, reflecting different cultural contexts and experiences in working with women in STEAM. This geographic diversity allows us to learn from each other’s best practices and adapt successful approaches to different settings, ultimately benefiting the project’s participants across the EU.

Importantly, all partners have extensive experience in working directly with VET educators, utilising Fablabs as learning hubs to support girls and women, and a shared understanding of the unique challenges and realities faced by the women we aim to support.

Now let’s meet our partners:

FIRDA

Foundation for Vocational Education, Adult Education and General Secondary Education in Friesland and Flevoland (FIRDA) is the result of the 2023  merger of two large VET-schools in the north of the Netherlands: Friesland College and ROC Friese Poort.

Located in the north of the Netherlands, in the province of Friesland and Flevoland, across 6 locations, our lead FabConnectHer partner,  FIRDA is a school for vocational education and training (EQF levels 1-4) as well as providing adult education.  It offers a dynamic range of full-time and part-time education opportunities  to approximately 24,000 students. They employ more than 2,600 teachers, support and management.   As a VET-school, they have a threefold qualification obligation:

  • training for a trade/profession
  • training for further education and
  • training for good citizenship

Central to the FabConnectHer project,  FIRDA’s D’Lab is a dynamic fab lab and learning centre where both students and companies and individuals can go to develop all kinds of prototypes. on various ways to make technology more and more accessible for every type of student, including those who consider technology ‘not their cup of tea’.  These students are more often girls than boys. D’Lab have learned that enabling these students to work on their project in a ‘Lab situation’ helps them practice these skills in a more practical, accessible, and fun way and lets them discover that STEAM education is more their cup of tea than they originally thought!

D’Lab focuses on techniques of design thinking,  3D printing, laser cutting, CNC and so on  and experimenting with new materials and techniques – think hemp, lischodde, flax and other materials of sustainable production.

Learning Hub Friesland

Actively seeking out the challenges facing education and training in the Friesland region and beyond,  Learning Hub Friesland’s aim is to become the gateway for education and training in their region, exporting successful initiatives developed locally to other European regions while importing strong examples from elsewhere. They never work alone; rather, they function as a hub, collaborating with like-minded individuals. In this case, it is FIRDA,  and together, they strive to make an active contribution to education and training innovation, addressing regional challenges and ambitions with a global perspective.

Their  belief in promoting collaboration and knowledge-sharing extends to empowering women and promoting gender equality in education and training. They have extensive expertise in the key themes of Maker Movements and Circularity and Employment e.g.  the Craft Your Future initiative | and Young Social Makers, a programme for vocational students where they learn to create social objects that solve everyday challenges for people with special needs.

Creative Spark

Launched in 2012, Creative Spark provides specialised training and workspace facilities to new and established businesses  in the North-East region of Ireland, creating a collaborative environment where learners, educators, innovators, start-ups, SMEs, and the community can meet and exchange ideas. They  provide an environment that fosters creativity and innovation. As the first of its kind in the North East region, their purpose is to offer space, skills, technology, structures, and a platform for peer support and capacity building to creative practitioners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

Opened in 2023, the Enterprise FabLab spans more than 200 sq. meters of full equipped space, digital fabrication machinery and power tools.  It’s training spans beginner programmes and Creative Teen Camps to training and upskilling for professional teams and individual SMEs.   Creative Spark is doing exciting work in Ireland through their FLIP Learning Lab: Shaping the World Around Us, which challenged students to identify real-life problems in the school environment and create solutions with the help of design thinking, creative processes and technologies.

Momentum

Irish continuing VET  educators Momentum are passionate about creating a brighter future for the all through creating progressive employment and entrepreneurship learning programmes. It has a specific focus on the creative economy and is valued in Ireland for supporting the development of over 20 creative clusters in Ireland.

In particular, Momentum believe in breaking down barriers and opening doors for those with fewer opportunities in the labour market. As female-founded educators, they are committed to supporting girls and women to excel in STEAM areas. As proud members of the Irish Diversity Charter and signatories of the EU Pact for Skills, Momentum is committed to creating a more inclusive, sustainable future through collaboration on innovative education pathways that encourage women (and those who teach them) to explore and experiment via Fab Labs.

Fab Lab León

Fab Lab León, founded in 2011, is space for digital transformation. It’s soul is the collaborative hub for learning, experimentation and innovation. Spanning 600 square meters, the fab lab is a  space for digital fabrication and innovative training that is advised by accredited mentors. Fab Lab León is the democratization of technology, a place for students, makers, teachers, professionals, entrepreneurs, artisans, creatives and all those who are curious and interested in digital fabrication. They also collaborate with institutions and companies to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and interest in science and technology.

The FabLab León team is composed of 6 people, most of whom are graduates of the Fab Foundation’s educational programs: FabAcademy and Fabricademy.  Currently, they have more than 100 students in their after-school programs, where they  help people from 7 years old to adapt digital fabrication skills to become entrepreneurs.  FabLab León is part of the International Fab Lab Network, which was founded by the Fab Foundation and has more than 2400 labs worldwide.

VIVA Lab Porto

VIVA Lab Porto is a community-led Fab Lab with a mission to educate and empower students and entrepreneurs by providing them with access to tools, resources, and education to prototype and develop their ideas. Their goal is to promote sustainable development and social impact through the use of digital fabrication, circular economy, and social entrepreneurship.  VIVA Lab’s objective is to create an inclusive and diverse community of makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs who collaborate to develop solutions for both local and global challenges.

They aim to inspire and cultivate a culture of creativity, collaboration, and social responsibility to promote women’s empowerment and make a significant social impact. VIVA Lab  provides a variety of workshops, training, and community events to more than 1000 members from various backgrounds, including makers, designers, students, and entrepreneurs. Further, their Maker education impact in schools and universities and fostering new skills and entrepreneurship opportunities has now reached over 1900 people.

Fab Lab Reykjavík

Fab Lab Reykjavík is part of Fjolbrautaskolinn i Breidholti (FB), a comprehensive upper-secondary school offering vocational and academic courses. The college is the second largest upper secondary school in Iceland, with 1500 students and 110 teachers.

 Fab Lab Reykjavik is a welcoming and empowering space for anyone in Reykjavík to unleash their creativity and innovation. As the largest Fab Lab in Iceland, it serves as a hub for innovators, makers, artists, and students to collaborate and create a better future. With its fully equipped digital fabrication capabilities and an abundance of creative individuals, Fab Lab Reykjavik inspires and supports anyone to launch their own educational projects in the field of innovation. It is a powerful partner in a variety of innovation projects that are designed to empower and uplift. Each year, Fab Lab Reykjavik attracts over 8,500 visits. In Iceland, eight Fab Lab workshops are operating to increase knowledge of digital manufacturing methods and promote innovation. Fab Lab Reykjavík also creates a platform for innovation for industrial companies, educational institutions, and students

Associated partner:

Edinburgh College (SCT)

We are Scotland’s Capital College and providing high-quality education and training to people and businesses across the region and beyond. We welcome students from over 139 countries worldwide, who choose from over 700 courses across 17 different subject areas with full-time, part-time, evening and distance-learning options available from access to degree level.

With a strong focus on the STEAM agenda we recently installed our own Fab Lab in our School of Art & Design, and are looking forward to working with Fab Connect Her to maximise it’s potential to open up education opportunities to females who want to pursue a STEAM career.

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