tech2It’s incredible how much the education system has changed within the last decade or so. The resources available to many students today, grades K-12 and beyond, are creating a learning atmosphere which is hands-on, interesting, and, most importantly, it prepares them for the future. The tools to educate our next generation of citizens are increasingly tech-oriented. Instead of paper, pencils, and rulers, students now relate better to tablets, laptops, and even 3D printers.

Not all schools house technologies such as 3D printers themselves; however, thanks to a new initiative, this will no longer mean students will lack the experience using them. TechShop Inc., a membership-based fabrication and workshop studio, who happens to run a chain of eight makerspaces within the United States, has just announced a partnership with Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories of America.

Mark Hatch, TechShop Ceo, and Tango Matsumoto, corporate senior vice president of Fujitsu Limited

Mark Hatch, TechShop CEO, and Tango Matsumoto, Corporate Senior Vice President of Fujitsu Limited

The partnership creates a mobile makerspace called “TechShop Inside! — Powered by Fujitsu”. The makerspace will be housed within a 24-foot long trailer and equipped with some of TechShop’s most popular hardware for makers, including 3D printers, Fujitsu LIFEBOOK Tablet PCs, and laser cutters, among other tools.

“The joint efforts of TechShop and Fujitsu demonstrate a new direction for Open Innovation in practice,” said Professor Henry Chesbrough of University of California at Berkeley, the father of Open Innovation.

TechShop Inside! was officially launchedon Friday, kicking off their inaugural tour at the World Open Innovation Conference in Napa California. From there they plan on traveling to San Francisco, where they will visit an after school program. They also are in discussions with other educational organizations in the Bay Area to bring their education initiative to several schools and institutions including Mulberry School, Brentwood Academy, Design Tech High School, Los Altos School District, Siatech, San Jose libraries, and Santa Clara County libraries.

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“We at Fujitsu have a deep understanding of how facilitating opportunities to make things leads to innovation,” said Tango Matsumoto, Corporate Senior Vice President of Fujitsu Limited. “The maker movement in general, and more specifically our partnership with TechShop, gives young makers the chance to have hands-on experiences that instill a personal sense of empowerment. Helping the next generation realize that they can make a difference is a vital step in addressing the world’s many challenges.”

The ability to have this technology on wheels, making its way to potentially thousands of students each year, seems like an efficient, affordable way for students to gain experience with these technologies without each school or institution being responsible for purchasing the technology themselves.  With many school systems lacking the funding they desire, especially in California, a state with significant budget concerns, this new mobile makerspace appears to make perfect sense.

Educators and institutions who would like to have TechShop Inside! pay them a visit, may contact techshopinside@techshop.com or go to the TechShop Inside! website for further information. Let us know your thoughts on this mobile makerspace, and if you or your child has had the opportunity to take advantage of this initiative. Discuss in the TechShop Inside! forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the video provided below for additional information on this initiative.

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