October 4, 2015

Mini Maker Faire in Newport on October 17

FabNewport, along with Tinker Bristol, is hosting a Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, October 17th at the Florence Gray Center in Newport. The Faire runs from noon to 7pm and is free to attend. It is an exciting opportunity to mingle with creative and energetic artists, engineers, students and makers eager to showcase their projects and discuss ideas. Please join us for a visit, and if you would like to share your talents we still have room for booths, which are also free.

Executive Director

Steve Heath took the helm as Executive Director in July, and joins Nick Logler, FabNewport’s head coach and technical director, as FabNewport’s second full-time employee. Steve has worked in public and independent schools in Boston, Chicago and Rhode Island for 20 plus years and has focused much of his career developing STEAM programs for in schools and the community. The vision for FabNewport is to provide a community FABLAB serving youth and adults at FabNewport’s site in the north while also serving partner organizations and schools with programming and professional development.


Programs are running in the lab for the Met School, neighborhood youth and families, and individuals and entrepreneurs seeking access to tools and support.
Outside the lab FabNewport is working with Jamestown Arts Center, The Martin Luther King Center, All Saints Academy, Saint Michael’s Country Day School, St. Philomena, St. George’s, East Greenwich Middle School and Watertown Public Schools. We are in the final stages of completing an in depth professional development program, “Creative Coding with Scratch” under the leadership of Janice Kowalczyk. We trained teachers to integrate coding into their elementary schools. Seventeen teachers from Aquidneck Island public and private schools are participating. This training was funded by the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.

Summer Programs

FabNewport developed and implemented two new camps over the summer – Skunk Works and Float Your Boat. Skunk Works, a 5-week program serving students between 11 and 16 years old learned how to code, fabricate and design and developed independent projects ranging from interactive games, to fashion design and computer programs. Participants were a blend of Newport, Middletown and Jamestown children. Thanks to our supporters for funding scholarships.

The 4-week Float Your Boat Camp, a grant-funded program with the support from 11th Hour Racing, the Prince Memorial Hospital Trust, and the RI Marine Trades Association, offered ten (10) middle school youth from the north end of Newport training in boat design and building, on the water sailing lessons, bicycling, environmental work, geography, and history lessons. We are grateful to GoNewport, Sail Newport, the Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation, the Preservation Society, Bike Newport, 12 Meter Charters, Viking Tours, Zoe Steele, Island Sports, and the many others who supported our August adventures.


We are excited about our first fundraiser on Friday, November 20th, at the Edward King House in Newport from 5:30-8:30. There will be food and drink, and an array of artisan-made ornaments for sale displayed throughout the house, and on holiday trees in each of the rooms. In addition, party guests will have the opportunity to create their own customized gifts with support of FabNewport coaches in a pop up design studio. Gifts will be available to be picked up at the FabLab in time for Holiday giving.

Board Member News

Kerry Clarke, Chris Semonelli and Daniel Bryand were voted in as board members in September. Kerry Clarke works for Newport Public Schools, primarily focusing on career exploration, job readiness and partnership development for Rogers High School and the Newport Area Career and Technical Center (NACTC). Chris has a history of working passionately to improve educational outcomes for area youth and Dan is an engineer at NUWC committed to getting NUWC more involved with the community. They join our other board members: Stephen Licht, professor of Ocean Engineering at URI; Mary Vieira, school leadership advisor and educational consultant for the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity (CLEE); Eric Cimino, academic advisor at Mitchell College in Groton; Chris Gross, advisor at the Paul W. Crowley East Bay Campus of the MET School in Newport. Alex Joseph, Field Applications Engineer with Future Electronics, headquartered in Montreal, Canada.