“Everything here is spectacular,” opined Hung Pham, a first-year University of South Florida computer science major and member of the Judy Genshaft Honors College, during a visit to the AMRoC FAB Lab in Tampa, Florida. On Saturday, Sept. 23, Honors students had the opportunity to visit AMRoC to discover the inspiring array of learning and service experiences the community makerspace has to offer.
IF YOU BUILD IT …
The AMRoC Fab Lab is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Manufacturing) learning and idea development center where people of all ages can gain hands-on science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing experience. Visitors will often find students and seniors working together building, racing, and ultimately battling robots. Equipped with tools and training for 3D printing, textiles, metals, wood, aquaponics, and more – the possibility to create is almost limitless.
Paul Kendrick, a second-year cybersecurity major commented, “I think that they’re
doing a really good service for the community by providing youth and the community
at large with a way to express their creativity and technical ambitions.”
Lalith Roopesh, a 7-year B.S./M.D. junior added, “I feel inspired here and I’m not even an engineering major. The AMRoC FAB LAB epitomizes Honors experiential learning.”
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Executive Director Terri Willingham and Systems Engineer Steve Willingham started
the AMRoC FAB Lab as a student robotics program in their home garage. It eventually
grew into a thriving community. Asked how AMRoC brings together people with differing
levels of expertise and technical skills, Terri explained, “We partner up. We match
up people with different abilities.”
While technology is valued at AMRoC, students also commented on the social experience.
“People are really supportive and can learn, grow, and collaborate,” said Man (Jolie) Nugyen.
Honors advisor Krysta Banke was impressed to hear of FIRST challenge core values which teach soft skills including ethics, leadership, and anti-bullying, and noted, “People can pursue any role here including public speaker, learner, teacher, researcher, builder, designer, creator, and tester in this space.”
UP NEXT IN THE FAB LAB
Nhi Do, a first-year computer science major, enjoyed the experience so much she suggested – and signed up for – a new social media volunteer position at AMRoC, a role Executive Director Willingham agreed to on the spot. You can follow Nhi Do and the FAB Lab during the month of October, as AMRoC participates in ROBOTICON a showcase of the best in student-built robots. All USF students are encouraged to learn more and even volunteer.