The last 8 years outside my home-land Sicily have been a great enrichment and allowed me to discover ideas, technologies and trends that I could only dream of before. I learnt that we are in a crucial moment of transition for humanity. Our reality is being reshaped at an exceptional speed by technological advancements, including in crucial areas such as healthcare, education, communication and energy.
The most amazing part of this transformation is that today, with the right tools, everybody has the power to be part of a global community, to learn from the best educators, to use their creativity to make (almost) anything, to offer innovative services and, ultimately, engage in positive change.
It is a moment of democratisation of competences and tools in which, with a little effort, we can revolutionise the lives of many. But it is also a moment in which those who will not have access to the right tools, risk being left behind and miss the great opportunities offered by the digital revolution.
That is why, last year, I embarked in a new journey and decided to promote the learning of digital competences in Marsala, my home-town in the Western corner of Sicily. Together with other young people, we founded Fab Lab Western Sicily which aims to promote digital education in a fun way, so that everybody can be empowered to take part in this global transformation.
Fab Labs are places in which cutting-edge technologies of digital fabrication are made accessible to the community to learn, work and play. Tools like 3D printers, laser cutters and electronics become of easy access, so that creativity is unleashed and learning digital skills becomes fun. I have been volunteering in a Fab Lab myself and I was extremely fascinated by the potential of these Labs. Children and teenagers are very quick learners and they could design and manufacture creative objects after a short introduction. Complementing ‘traditional’ education with such digital education can open new opportunities for younger generations.
In the last year, Fab Lab Western Sicily has organised workshops, interactions between students and companies, and similar initiatives for the community. We reached more than 300 students and our pool of volunteers has been growing steadily. We are excited and encouraged by the support we received from all sides. By now, a community of schools, politicians, companies and individuals from all age groups are actively involved in supporting the Fab Lab. And last month we finally managed to set up a beautiful place, which has basic equipment, but an amazing spirit.
Until now, the activities of the Fab Lab have been supported by few of us who decided to make use of our savings for this cause. But now we want to scale up and convert our basic equipment into a state-of-the-art Fab Lab. So, we have just launched a crowdfunding campaign which aims to collect 20,000 euros by October 23rd. The amount collected will be used to buy 3D printers, a laser cutter, few PCs and digital tools so that we can equip the new space and continue to provide courses for the community. After we set up the Fab Lab, it will be made freely accessible to everybody under 18 years old – while the running costs will be covered by small fees paid by adults and businesses which want to experiment with the machines.
Your support would be of great help to promote 21st century education in Sicily, so we invite you to participate to our crowdfunding campaign! Since the website of the campaign is in Italian, I present below all the information needed to make a donation. Moreover, we are also looking for donations in-kind (for example, laptops, DIY tools or electronics) and we are always open for new collaborations to bring innovative technologies to Sicily.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Here the youtube video of our campaign: https://youtu.be/8Ip9EeeXcuc
How to make a donation
The link in Italian is the following: http://schoolraising.it/progetti/fablabws/
a. If your Italian is a bit rusty, you can also make a simple bank transfer. Below the details:
- Bank account: School Raising
- IBAN: IT 46 V 0501 8016 0000 0000 1676 06
- SWIFT/BIC: CCRTIT2T84A
- Message: your email address and the word “FabLabWS”
b. There is also a second option. You can make the transfer in the platform following these steps:
- Go to http://schoolraising.it/contribuisci/?id=5698# and type the amount you would like to donate. Then click “Procedi con il pagamento”
- Scrolling below you will seen this screen:
3. You can fill you name (Nome*), surname (Cognome*) and email, and clink “Invia”
4. You will be redirected to the Paypal account and you can decide to proceed either by logging in or by clicking below to proceed without log in if you want to pay with a debit card.