FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Murkowski, along with Senator Chris Van Holland (D-Md) and U-S Representative Bill Foster (D-Ill), recently introduced the 'National Fab Lab Network Act” legislation to expand Fab Labs across the country.
These facilities are equipped with digitally-controlled tools that enable individuals to create and innovate new products.
The tools range from laser cutters, to 3-D printers, to automated knives, and training is also provided.
Alaska is home to the 'Cook Inlet Tribal Council Fab Lab' in Anchorage.
President and C-E-O of C-I-T-C, Gloria O'Neill, said “At C-I-T-C we've seen up close the empowering effects of hands-on STEM activities for our youth in our Anchorage-based Fab Lab. When we give our youth the tools to be self-determined... to create and design... we give them the ability to connect with their collective potential. We are excited to extend this opportunity through a national network of Fab Labs.”
The National Fab Lab Network Act would create a nonprofit charter similar to those started for groups like Little League Baseball. The goal of the Network would be to establish at least one Fab Lab for every 700,000 people, or roughly one lab in every Congressional district.