By Professor Jerry Lackey I have always felt it was important to teach in a way that inspires my students. The Vo-Zone’s approach to engage and educate the next generation of vocational leaders is the most innovative and creative approach I have seen in over 30 years as a vocational instructor. The goal is to introduce students to the many fields in Fabrication and STEM lab work through the many entertaining strategies in the Vo-Zone. This will include a Welding Lab, Maching Lab, Mechatronics Lab, FabLab (Fabrication Lab) and the operation of CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machines. Also using 3D printers and laser cutters such as Maker Bot Replicators to provide an endless variety of highly detailed items.
Learn by Doing
Aristotle said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” The Vo-Zone will be uniquely motivating because Fab Interns partner with Escape Room Interns when designing the immersive experiences. The Fab Lab will fabricate/manufacture the gadgets and puzzles for the Escape Room storylines. Nearby plaques will identify these student fabrication contributors. The recognition, specially when it is noticed by peer students, will be valuable motivating experience for many students who typically lack that positive attention.
Preparing for Careers
Familiarizing urban students with jobs in these vocations leads to higher paying jobs right out of high school. Job opportunities for youth trained in the fabrication and repair of “moving parts” are in high demand in various manufacturing industries. The Vo-Zone’s learning process is disguised by entertainment. The youth hardly realize they are sculpting a brighter future.