April 2015 Update: Moving Forward on Multiple Fronts

April 15, 2015

Dear friends,

Because of your support, FabNewport continues to move in positive directions through relationships building, fundraising and program development.

We are grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for an unrestricted gift of $25,000 to support organizational development. Thanks to this gift, Nick Logler, our head coach and technical director, is now a full-time employee of FabNewport.

We are working with Women’s Resource Center on two grants, Primary Prevention Institute (PPI) and Health Equity Zone, funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Department of Health. These programs are designed to improve healthy opportunities, with a focus on program evaluation. We intend to have updated evaluative tools in place when our next round of programming starts in June.

We received $5,000 from the Frederick Prince Memorial Hospital Fund to continue our Float Your Boat Program and have a proposal in to 11th Hour Racing for further support. One of FYB’s goals is to inspire North End residents to access the waterfront. We are building a relationship with Sail Newport and surveying local residents to assess their needs and desires.

Our Creative Coding program funded by $53,000 from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation launched on March 26. Twenty-two teachers are participating in 10-days of professional development to improve 4 th -6th grade classroom strategies to implement computer science across the curriculum. As a follow-up, we are hosting a meeting with the head of URI’s Computer Science Department, Joan Peckham, industry leader, Joe Devine of Bridge Technical Talent, and educators to discuss a larger strategy to engage all of Newport County in computer science opportunities from youth to adults.

The Met School 3D Modeling program, where students earn an RI Department of Education Certificate, is in its second round and going well. The Met School will be building on its FabNewport programming for the 2015/2016 school year.

Future Lab, funded by a $15,000 grant from the Prince Charitable Trust, focuses on at-risk 6th graders two days a week for an entire year. We are impacting lives, even as we face challenges with attendance and communication. These hiccups provide lessons in program design and inter-organization communication that will make us stronger.

We are running a unique 5-week Fab Summer Camp, providing children 11 and up the opportunity to go deep with their making and learning. This program will be a combination of paid and scholarship students. We are raising money privately to support the camp.

All Saints Academy STEAM programming is going well and we are exploring ways to improve next year’s offering. As a result of our work at ASA, two other Christian schools want FabNewport programming.

We are running a 3D design and printing after school program at St. Michaels Country Day School. St. George’s School has visited the lab several times with architectural students.

Home schoolers continue to take advantage of FabNewport offerings and we are discussing ways to offer more programming for next year.

Locally, we have a slow but steady growing membership consisting of local engineers and educators. Dozens of local children pour into the lab weekly for programs and open lab time. Nick and I have been fortunate to participate in three large events in the last two months: The Providence Boat Show, The Ed Underground Blended Learning Conference and the Robot Block Party.

 Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments.

Sincerely yours,

Steve Heath

FabNewport, Chairman