Nathan Pritchett, one of the first recipients of the all-new Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship, is taking his passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education on the road to develop better, more inclusive ways of teaching.
The one-year program, a collaboration between Chevron and tech innovation nonprofit The Fab Foundation, provides global educators with $10,000 to create new STEM practices. The judging panel includes experts in digital manufacturing, education and STEM outreach.
In the coming year, Pritchett will visit digital fabrication workshops—known as Fab Labs—anywhere in the world to learn, brainstorm and co-create new curriculums. Their work will publish in podcasts and online blogs and will also be shared at conferences and educational events with the goal of leveling up STEM education across the country.
“As a maker, sometimes it takes a second to build something. Other times, you need a long time to capture those bigger dreams,” said Pritchett, noting that this fellowship is powering one of his biggest dreams: growing a new STEM curriculum from the ground up.
making a difference
Pritchett is a self-proclaimed technologist and futurist. As executive director of Fab Lab Tulsa for the past 12 years, he is responsible for building, managing and growing dozens of outreach programs designed to empower the next generation of makers.
His Green Power Racing program, for example, puts middle schoolers behind the wheel of electric go-carts. The project has revved up interest in racing, engineering and STEM among middle school students across the city.
why it matters
With a boost from the Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship, Pritchett—who hasn’t traveled for work since February 2020—will share some of his top maker projects with elementary and middle schools, community colleges and other Fab Labs across the United States.
“This is a huge professional development opportunity that offers me a chance to connect with other makers, while also teaching kids high-value skills and software,” Pritchett said.
executive director of fab lab tulsa
With open and equitable access to 21st century digital fabrication tools, equipment and technology, Fab Labs help foster education, community, workforce and business programming.
That means underrepresented STEM students can safely access and use equipment such as laser and vinyl cutters, 3D printers and milling machines. That also means entrepreneurs who want to test their prototypes can grow their aspirations.
Chevron has supported Fab Labs and other STEM education initiatives for over a decade. Our collaboration has engaged more than 100,000 students and community members across the U.S.
was awarded by Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship for educators to learn about, create and promote innovative and inclusive programs that teach STEM.
STEM students and community members across the U.S. had equitable access to digital fabrication tools, equipment and technology.
what we heard
“Programs such as the Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will continue to inspire the next generation of problem solvers to help meet the world’s future energy needs,” said Jennifer Michael, Chevron’s social investment manager.
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