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VES FabLab

Welcome to the VES FabLab!

One of the hottest trends in education, and a critical need in our country, is a connection back to the basics of living.  At VES we believe in teaching the whole child and to that end we want to encourage a new angle on creativity and productivity.


Think of a time when you were encouraged to explore, take a chance, make something, tinker with a tool or a toy, or just made something. Perhaps you successfully stitched up a project, hammered down that loose item, or repaired that bit of machinery.  These experiences can be empowering, frustrating, humbling, challenging, creative, and also very fun.  All these elements are crucial to building self-reliant and imaginative people. These experiences are what make us thinkers and doers.  


We are looking for FabDads and MakerMoms who would be interested in helping us create this space. We will be happy to let you take a look at what we have, what you may want to contribute, or how you could share your talents with the children (and staff) at VES.


We will see you in the FabLab soon!


VES FabLab Supplies List


In order for our VES FabLab to keep rolling, we are asking for donations of any kind. These could be items that you no longer use or items you purchase (new or used).


The list below is the "more common" items and are merely suggestions. They are definitely things that we would like but please do not limit yourself to only items on this list.


(All items need to be safe, clean, and appropriate for elementary-aged students.  Items like hand-tools, sewing needles, etc. will be only be used with adult supervision or after training)


  • Sewing supplies:  Needles, Embroidery needles, darning needles, embroidery thread, sewing thread, fabric scissors, pinking shears, felt squares, sticky felt squares, cloth, burlap    
  • Canvas, art supplies
  • Tying materials:  Ribbon, yarn, string, twine, zipties, duct tape, painters tape, masking tape  
  • Glue guns and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Woodworking supplies:  wood scraps, dowels
  • Hammers, Screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, wire cutters 
  • Nails, Screws, Bolts 
  • Batteries:  Various sizes and types
  • Tinkering supplies:  Any reusable surplus items
  • Craft supplies:  cotton balls, popsicle sticks, paint, tape, toothpicks, pompoms                                      
  • Things we can take apart:  Old or broken electronics, small devices (please no laser printers, copy machines, microwaves, cathode ray tube TV's, paper shredders, or fluorescent tubes or bulbs)
  • Office Supplies:  Binder slips, brads, rubber bands, paper clips, notebooks, paper of any kind.                    
  • Legos, Knex, Blocks
  • All types of paper: Wrapping paper, card stock, construction paper, printer paper, scrapbook
  • Post-it notes
  • Cardboard of any kind, ranging from pizza box lids to large appliances (flattened please)
  • Cardboard tubes:  wrapping paper, toilet paper, paper towel, etc. Please flatten and band toilet paper tubes - see photos    
  • Play-Doh
  • Circuitry Kits: Can be purchased online)                  
  • Storage Containers - tubs, baskets
  • Dominos, marbles  
  • Playing cards:  Used for building items

Wanted MakerMoms and FabDads

We would love your ideas and help with wall decoration, design, and helping hands in our Fab Lab.  In addition to serving as a fabrication area, we will also have space for science exploration and conduct lab experiments.  Contact Laura Brooks,, with any thoughts or ways that you can help create this important space.

2014 Word of the Year - Adulting

Excerpt from the Grammar Girl Website:  Even when we are kids, we are learning the basics of becoming adults.


"It’s been a long time since I picked a word of the year, but in 2014, one in particular jumped out at me. It’s a new word that I think will catch on: adulting.  Adulting describes acting like an adult or engaging in activities usually associated with adulthood—often responsible or boring tasks".


"I first saw adulting when my family friend Lindsey Moreno tweeted it right before school started. She was starting college as a new freshman and had had a rough day, and when I saw her write “I'm so bad at adulting,” I knew just what she meant. When she explained that she’d spent the whole day sorting out problems at the DMV and the bank, I felt her pain. Adulting is hard."


"The other thing I’ve found about adulting is that when people hear it, they immediately understand what it means and seem to think it fills a void, and (my friend) said she’s had the same experience. She says, “I think the reason it resonates is that we don't really have a specific word for that process, and it's an important one. It feels good when you're adulting.” That positive reaction, combined with adulting's popularity on social media, is why I think the word has a good chance of catching on."


 Mignon Fogarty - Grammar Girl

Preparing cardboard

Cardboard is a great recyclable item that allows for free exploration within the FabLab.  All donations must be clean, flattened, and able to be readily stored.  Here is an example of how to provide clean cardboard from a pizza box.

The box
The box
The trim
The trim
Clean, storable cardboard
Clean, storable cardboard

Paper rolls allow for exploration, experimentation, and are a consumable resource for fabrication.  But they can be oh so difficult to store.  See the above steps for provide clean, usable paper rolls for the FabLab that store and stack with ease.

Woodshop in the works
Woodshop in the works
Future Sewing Center
Future Sewing Center
Engineering toys
Engineering toys
Digital Arts
Digital Arts