On 25 October 2018, CSC Danilo Dolci organized the final conference of the FabLab Schools EU project. The conference took place at the technical institute “Vittorio Emanuele III” in Palermo, the school that hosted one of the two FabLab in Palermo and the school of two (of the six) Italian teachers who participated in the project.

The conference concluded a fruitful two-year collaboration of the project, which aimed to promote and develop common methodological principles for educational programmes on digital manufacturing in Europe. In order to achieve this goal, a consortium of schools, municipalities, regions and study centres from four different countries (Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain) worked closely together to achieve an understanding of the target sector and an optimal implementation of the project. The outcome of the project is a developed methodology, tested by teachers and documented in the manual, the methodological principles and elaborated in the policy recommendations.

During the conference, the results of the project were shared with the audience. It was held in two phases: a theoretical part and a practical part dedicated to the various digital manufacturing laboratories run by the teachers who worked within the project.

After the initial greetings and a brief presentation of the project by the representatives of the CSC Danilo Dolci – Italian partner of the project, Daniele Crisci spoke about the experience of PalermoScienza, a local initiative, and the relationship between FabLab technologies and the school. Mads Bo-Kristensen (the project coordinator) continued with an explanation of the project, 21st-century skills and the potential of FabLab technologies in the learning process at school.

Afterwards, Charlotte Agerby Schultz from the Municipality of Vejle (teacher and pedagogical consultant) illustrated the Design Circle and the methodological principles underlying the project.

The first part of the seminar, was concluded with a brief presentation of the manual by Erik van Alpen of Theresia Lyceum (Netherlands) and the policy recommendations of the Municipality of Vejle.

During the second part of the conference, the audience had the opportunity to experience firsthand by participating in the 4 parallel workshops on the different phases of the Design Circle, led by the teachers who joined the project. The main theme in all projects was the 3D technology and design thinking method used to make objects, souvenirs and decorations. During these workshops, participants could design and print their name on a vinyl sticker, redesign objects based on their personal interests, reconstruct flower pots or create a pop-up cart based on real monuments in Palermo.

The debate that followed within the workshops was an opportunity to share ideas and reflections on the importance of digital manufacturing technologies (modeling programs and 3D printers, laser cutting machines) to stimulate the creativity, productivity and entrepreneurial spirit of the new generations.

A final aperitif was offered to all participants to conclude the day of work and celebrate together the success of the project.