Before summer session started, a group of SLI teachers and administrators attended the Fab14 Conference (the 14th annual international Fab Lab meeting) in Toulouse, France. The annual event aims to gather people from all over the world to debate new technologies, build the Fab Lab network, and to share knowledge among educators and makers. The motto of this year’s conventions “Fabricating Resilience” explored five categories: food, mobility, machines, money, and access. (

Glenn Lillie, SLI’s 8th grade Geometry teacher, lead a workshop during the conference, where he lead participants through creating geometric stamps with a laser cutter. Participants combined mathematics (Geometry), arts (rubber stamps), and technology (laser cutting) in an innovative project that Lillie actually did with SLI 8th graders this year. A traditional tessellation can be made with pen and paper, and then converted into a digital fabrication project that incorporates creativity as well as an application of geometric skills. See photos above of SLI student’s projects from earlier this year.

Other SLI teachers and administrators attended workshops and labs. Tracy McClellan, SLI’s 10th grade trigonometry teacher, attended textile labs that incorporated wearable designs with circuits and soft sensors. Glenn Lillie attended FabLab Safety, FabLab STEM workshops, and a soft sensors workshop. Laurie Toyama, manager of the Fab Lab Santa Clara High School, attended a BioLab that cultured the bacteria found in common places and a workshop on materials that have unusual mechanical properties due to their molecular structure.

Overall, SLI staff had a great time building contacts, gathering ideas for future SLI student projects, and being inspired by educators and makers from all over the world. And they look forward to next year’s conference in Egypt!

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