Make. Learn. Do.
Mission & Vision
FabNewport is 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to ensure youth have equitable access to the opportunities, resources and relationships so they can thrive today and in the future.
Our vision is that all learners will have the competencies, confidence and commitment to positively impact their communities and realize their positive future visions.
Our practice is grounded in positive youth development. We believe all children can succeed if they have access to the resources, opportunities and relationships required to thrive today and in the future.
Our History: From Making Things to Making Lives
FabNewport was founded in 2013 with a primary focus on encouraging young people to design and operate CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines, enabling them to bring their unique ideas to life. Embracing the fab lab motto of using a specific set of tools to create almost anything, we quickly realized that students were not just making things, but also transforming their lives. As students returned year after year, expressing their interests in topics such as farming, surfing, sailing, cycling, community, hiking, entrepreneurship, and music, we realized the need to expand our scope of work. Thus, we launched NEX- The Newport Experience, in the summer of 2016.
Our research supported the idea that spending extensive time with youth could foster transformative relationships. We were influenced by the work of Community Music Works in Providence and the positive youth development research by the SEARCH Institute. We found the report, Foundations for Young Adult Success by the University of Chicago Consortium on Public Education particularly insightful.
According to the report, there are three key factors to youth development that lead to success in life:
- Agency: The ability to shape one’s life instead of merely reacting to external forces.
- Integrated identity: A strong sense of self that acts as an internal compass for decision-making aligned with one’s values, beliefs, and goals.
- Competencies: The abilities to be productive, effective, and adaptable to the demands of different settings.
Now, in 2023, inspired by experience and research we are laser focus on supporting youth in developing their competencies and agency while maintaining close relationships so we can ensure learners are exploring their identities and making decisions based on their values.
Another piece of the puzzle is the Positive Future Vision. We encourage every learner to point in a direction of their choice and to see themselves as explorers driven by curiosity and in search of meaning, purpose and opportunity.
Having a positive future vision is essential, regardless of the inevitable changes that will occur in a life’s journey. The way we perceive the future directly affects our present actions and decisions. A positive outlook can encourage us to work harder, make better choices, and overcome obstacles with greater ease. It can also provide us with a sense of purpose and direction, which is especially important during times of uncertainty.
Moreover, a positive future vision helps us cultivate hope and resilience. It helps us see beyond the challenges they may face in the present and focus on the potential opportunities that await us in the future. This perspective can empower us to overcome adversity and persist in the face of setbacks.
It is also worth noting that having a positive future vision does not mean that we should be inflexible in their goals or unwilling to adapt to changing circumstances. As we mature and gain new experiences, our interests and priorities may shift, and our life path may take unexpected turns. However, a positive outlook provides a framework for us to navigate these changes and make decisions that align with their overall vision for the future.
In summary, a positive future vision is crucial for people as it can provide motivation, direction, hope, and resilience. It allows us to focus on aspirations and navigate changes in one’s life journey with greater ease.
What is your positive future vision?
We run a year-round slate of programs that include school day programming at All Saints Academy, Thompson Middle School, Rogers High School, and the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center High School.
Our after school and summer programs range from STEAM workshops emphasizing our fab lab origins to hiking, golf, sailing, farming, film, surfing, cycling and more. Many of these programs are collaborations with our dozens of community partners.
- Classes and workshops for students during the school day at:
- All Saints Academy, Middletown – STEAM programming for PK-8th grade
- Met High School: 3DS Max and Design | Make | Manufacture classes
- Classical High School, Providence – Robotics Club
- Rogers High School, Newport – Podcasting class
- Thompson Middle School, Newport – Heart Club
- After school programs
- In-Lab STEAM programming – electronics, coding, jewelry making, sewing, fashion etc
- Golf Programming (both 101 level and PGA Jr for our more advanced golfers)
- Adventure programming – surfing, hiking, biking, cooking, golfing, farming, etc
- Open Lab
- Seasonal Workshops