UofL's Speed School of Engineering will be hands-on at Central High School with the creation of a 'maker space' for learning in the STEM fields.
UofL's Speed School of Engineering will be hands-on at Central High School with the creation of a 'maker space' for learning in the STEM fields.

The J.B. Speed School of Engineering opened its third maker space at a local school this week — this time at Central High School.

The facility is being called “The Colony” in honor of Central’s mascot, the Yellowjacket. Its goal is to increase awareness of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields and to persuade underrepresented students to consider pursuing those disciplines.

“Our goal with these maker space facilities is to increase interest in the STEM fields and to help students grow their self-confidence,” said UofL Acting President Neville Pinto. “Expect to see our Speed School students here working alongside Central students on engineering projects.”

The maker space is being equipped with $30,000 of furniture donated by furniture manufacturer Artcobell, and $20,000 of machinery, including 3-D printers, laser cutters and drill presses, funded by a Verizon Innovation grant.

“Think of this as a 21st Century shop class, where students can design, and create, and bring their ideas to fruition,” said Central Principal Raymond Green, a UofL graduate.

As part of its partnership with Central, the Speed School will provide up to five scholarships to graduates of the high school, allow selected high school seniors to take freshman-level college classes, sponsor robotics tournaments and hack-a-thons and help write STEM curriculum.

The Speed School has similar arrangements with two other Louisville schools, West End School and Nativity Academy, where it also has opened maker spaces.

Check out the video below from an event celebrating the opening earlier this week, as well as photos online.

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John Karman, III
John Karman joined the Office of Communications and Marketing in 2014 after a 20-plus year career as a Louisville journalist. For the past year, he has served as director of media relations. In that role, he answers reporters’ inquiries and is the university’s main spokesperson. John was a reporter for Business First of Louisville from 1999 to 2013. There, he won numerous awards from the Louisville chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and American City Business Journals, parent company to Business First. John spends much of his spare time celebrating the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.