Earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) opened a new Fab Lab right here in Tampa Bay. The 7500 sq. ft lab is located in the University Mall, which is undergoing a complete overhaul and is being turned into a mixed-use development center called the ‘Uptown’.
AMRoC, a social enterprise of the nonprofit Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI), strives to introduce young people to STEM programs via project-based engineering education and training opportunities and by providing resources and space for robotics and other STEM competitions. Though their primary goal is to create intrigue at adolescence, AMRoC also offers STEM-related educational programming for all ages, ‘K-to-Gray’.
The lab has been met with overwhelming positive support and community interest thus far. Over 100 people attended the grand opening on June 8, all coming to tour the facility, meet the program partners, and explore everything AMRoC has to offer.
The executive director of the FCDI, Terri Willingham, expressed her excitement about the opening of this new location, quoted saying “If you can imagine it, you can do it here...We want to help people be more curious.” Willingham hopes that AMRoC and the Fab Lab are just the beginning of an influx of similar innovative opportunities into the Tampa Bay Area.
The new lab is part of a network of 1600 Fab Labs around the world and is the only location to have a permanent, full-sized FIRST Robotics Competition field in the state.
This Fab Lab was made possible by funding and support from many corporations and organizations, including the Argosy Foundation, SOFWERX, the Lightening Foundation, and the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Cooperative.
Sensible Micro is also a proud supporter of the new Fab Lab. We are excited to see how AMRoC will help grow STEM awareness and interest in our Tampa Bay community.