In February 2018, the Thai Government approved a budget of 3.29 billion Baht through the Ministry of Science and Technology to implement 14 key initiatives to help tackle poverty and inequality through science through the ‘Big Rock’ project. The Big Rock project’s goal is to prepare Thailand for the 21st century while eliminating inequality and enabling the new generation to be scientifically and technologically creative as well as more capable in using innovative techniques.

In this regard, part of the budget has been allocated to the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to implement the “Fabrication Lab” project (FabLab) aiming to develop innovation skills for Thai children and youth. This activity is in line with the Ministry of Science and Technology’s policy on ‘building smart citizen through science’ and puts an emphasis on science society that gives opportunity as ‘Makers Nation’ according to ‘Thailand 4.0’ policy. FabLab project supports and arranges for activities on creative skills development, design and engineering trainings, as well as providing scientific tools and digital/engineering infrastructure for participating educational institutes across Thailand. The students will gain practical experience and have an opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity and be inspired for a future career as innovators.

NSTDA invited participations from secondary schools and technical colleges that have previously participated in youth development programs or have been awarded in relevant regional, national and international competitions. Of the 238 applications, 150 schools/colleges were selected. In collaboration with network universities, teaching staffs from partner universities closely provide mentorship to both teachers and students in order to utilize facilities at FabLabs to their maximum potential.

Ten partner universities that have collaborated with NSTDA on FabLab project are Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Burapha University, Chiang Mai University, Thammasat University and Prince of Songkla University. The National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office and Mr.Polkit Sukchalerm, an academic consultant, are also acknowledged for their guidance on the fabrication labs’ tools and equipment.

Post Views: 289