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U.S. Rep. Foster Visits Waubonsee’s Aurora Campus to Promote Fab Labs

professional man and woman stand in science lab full of equipment and have a conversation
Waubonsee Community College President Dr. Christine Sobek talks to Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) in a science lab at the college's downtown Aurora Campus on Thursday, March 28. Rep. Foster was at the campus to discuss the proposed National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013.

Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11), Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, Waubonsee Community College President Dr. Christine Sobek, and other business and community leaders participated today in a roundtable discussion at the college’s downtown Aurora Campus on the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013, introduced by Foster last week.

The National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013 will establish a National Fab Lab network throughout the United States, helping to revive the American manufacturing tradition and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The bill has been introduced with bipartisan support from 15 original co-sponsors including Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Rep. Tom Massie (KY-4), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-08) and others.

Fab Labs are state-of-the-art fabrication laboratories available to the public throughout the country where children and adults can invent, design and manufacture products. The equipment can be used to design anything from tools to motors to data networks to artwork. The first Fab Lab began as a project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms, and has expanded to more than 100 locations throughout the world. MIT’s mobile Fab Lab visited Waubonsee in 2010, and the college continues to explore bringing a Fab Lab to its downtown Aurora Campus.

“We have a great tradition of innovation in manufacturing in America. With a national network of Fab Labs, we can empower and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Foster. “These labs help students build the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy.”