Sustainable South Bronx has continued initial community outreach and project incubation during the pilot phase our FabLab initiative. Although the 32 ' x 8' trailer that houses all the machines limits the scale of programming we can do, it has allowed us to prepare our organizational infrastructure and develop a strategic plan for Phase 2, where we'll have a permanent space for the equipment, as well as adequate classroom space.
SSBx is currently on a fundraising campaign for both capital equipment and programmatic support, with an aim to launch Phase 2 in a permanent space by early 2009. We've collaborated with Vision Education & Media, another DML grantee, on the development of an after-school program called "GreenFab" that will serve 160 ninth grade students over 3 years. The program will teach core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) , as well environmentally conscious digital design and manufacturing.
In addition to programs for youth, SSBx is also currently developing vocational and entrepreneurship training programs for adults that involve "upcycling" waste streams into useful consumer products with the use of both traditional as well as modern CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) equipment.
Our volunteer design residents, "SSBxFab Fellows" have been pivotal in helping us determine best practices for obtaining sustainable materials, as well as designing and manufacturing prototypes of furniture and other eco-conscious consumer products. We recently highlighted a project that was executed using our facilities: a collapsible street-vending system made entirely from salvaged wood. More details, as well as photos & video of the project, are available on the SSBxFab blog.