"I think the CoA FabLab is one of the best things I've experienced in my education. Having an opportunity to learn at my own pace in a welcoming environment has taught me to be more accepting of the learning process, and has overall helped me gain humility. I love how the social atmosphere here encourages collaboration, which has helped me "come out of my shell" so to speak. I've noticed similar changes in other patrons of the Lab as well. I feel as though places like this fill a prominent gap in current schooling systems."
Former Student Technician
"I've been intrigued by the FabLab ever since the semester started but didn't have the time to go inside until recently. I am so glad that I finally decided to check it out because it is one of the most amazing places I have ever had the opportunity to be involved in. Lately I've been learning how to use the awesome machines (laser cutter currently) and taking my art to the next level which never would have been possible without this space. Another huge plus is the welcoming staff that is always there to offer assistance, advice, or just show how stoked they are when students dive into the process of "making"."
The next Level
"Working in the FabLab has been a chance for me to learn new skills that I hope will have a positive impact on my future educational & professional life. In addition to learning how to use various machinery / manufacturing equipment directly, I've also had opportunities to learn about working with other people both cooperatively and in a professional-client relationship.
Coming to the FabLab really opened up new ideas for me about what I wanted from my education and for my future professional career by giving me a chance to explore and experiment in ways I would not have otherwise had the time or money to try. In my opinion, the accessibility of the FabLab was one of the most important factor in building the positive experiences I've had over the past year."
Former Student Technician
"I can honestly say that my recent projects are better for having had access to the CoA Fablab.Danny, Miguel, Vince and the whole crew are enablers in the best sense of the word.The Peralta District, and all associated the Fablab network are to be thanked for this fabulous localasset."
"The CoA FabLab has been a life saver for me. I have access to equipment that would have otherwise taken me years to acquire as an entrepreneur just starting out. The knowledgeable staff takes the time to demonstrate unfamiliar equipment and gives useful suggestions and tips for solving problems. The shared space is conducive to networking and brainstorming with other creatives opening untapped avenues of share experiences and skill sharing. Thank for making this space!"
Cecelia 'CC' Clark
"As a community member, the fablab has done so much for our school already. It is shaping our curriculum and opening paths for youth. So many kids desire to get hands on experiences to explore careers and this offers such a variety of skill development through the power of "making". The COA team always takes on the challenge of inspiring and supporting the students. I feel very honored to be a part of this group."
After School Program Coordinator
"The ultimate measure of modern success with students is applied rigor, student engagement and fostering a love of learning. During our recent field day at the College of Alameda Fab Lab, with over 30 high school students, they hit the trifecta! You know it's a well planned and well executed learning experience when students don't want to leave, even 5 hours into the process. Much appreciation to Ana M., Danny B., Miguel ? (add names here, please), and the COA students who all pitched in to make this a total head, heart and hands milestone for our youth!"
Co-Manager of Career Pathways and Grants
Oakland Military Institute
"The College of Alameda’s FabLab provides a pathway for entrepreneurship in Alameda by training our community to use cutting edge manufacturing equipment to conceive, design and develop almost any product they can imagine. The FabLab has been an important component in the City’s efforts to empower our local workforce, and to support entrepreneurs and small businesses."
Community Development Director
City of Alameda
"For me, the fablab has been an open creative outlet which has allowed me to explore new creative curiosities and perspectives. On top of the firsthand artistic and technical skills, I’ve also learned a lot from the welcoming and engaging community. Learning to think like a creator, learning to work with others collegially while being able to constructively communicate and share our ideas have all been valuable experiences to me which have passed on to my professional and academic life."
Former Student Technician
"I am having so much fun learning new things in the FabLab. Creating designs I then print onto fabric, using the vinyl cutter to embellish, learning how to use various programs to help imagine designs is super exciting.
The tools available here are endless. Next on my list to learn is the laser cutter.
Love love love all the possibilities that are available. Last but not least; the staff makes all of this possible. They are patient teachers and have supported my sometimes slow learning curve!"
Whole Lotta Love
for Learning New Things
"The COA Fab lab empowers creative students and entrepreneurs with tools that can take their projects and businesses to the next level. Sporting industrial-grade manufacturing equipment, insightful staff that naturally double as project mentors, and overall an excellent member community, the COA Fab Lab is truly a place where dream projects are designed, built, and appreciated by others on a daily basis. The lab has inspired me to create my own embroidery business which I am attempting to scale while I continue to use the lab as a medium to inspire others to pursue related creative business ideas. From screen printing shirts to laser cutting wall decor for other businesses, I feel I have fully leveraged the creative business opportunities at the lab and am motivated to help others explore their talents in this creative space."
Former Student Technician
"I really wish CoA FabLab had been around a few years ago. I finally have a reason to be in school again. I don't mind learning the theory behind something, but in a regular classroom theory is about all you get, with a few mentions about how something is used in the real world. Most of the school programs I've tried are so far behind the times that it just doesn't feel worth the time or cost to attend. I am learning a lot here and hoping to land a job as a FabLab manager one day."
"The CoA FabLab is integral to teaching and learning in the 21st century. A learning-by-doing approach fosters higher-order problem-solving and critical thinking. Creative thinking and invention create flexible learners with the ability to be resilient. I have seen students become empowered independent thinkers through the spirit of making. The FabLab is a catalyst of interdisciplinary learning at College of Alameda."
Timothy Karas, Ed.D
College of Alameda
the future of
learning is now
"Hello! I am Molly Clem, a current highschool at Alameda Science and Technology Institute. I started going to the COA Fab Lab in my sophomore year (2018), and worked as the Maker-In-Residence in my junior year. (2019) I loved my time in the lab! I was able to design and create projects for myself, my friends, and the community. I created a rasterized periodic table of the elements for a college chemistry classroom, made animal shelter blankets for dogs and kittens, and did fascinating research on piezoelectric powered gliders. At the Fab Lab I learned Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop software, Fusion 360 CAD, the design iteration process, and grew my team building skills. The Fab Lab Leads here have also helped me network. Now as a senior I have been applying to colleges. The Fab Lab equiped me with the skills to make myself a strong candidate for these colleges, as well as supported my ambitions for higher education. Because of this I was able to get into my top choice of school Worcester Polytechnical Institute. I could not be thankful enough for everything the Fab Lab has done for me."
former student technicial
College of Alameda
I haven't encountered somebody in the industry of digital fabrication and education that can go deeper into the rabbit hole of information and best practices, until I met Danny. Danny must be one of the only individuals that have both the track record, and dedication to the service he provides in this entire region of the East Bay for setting up Fab Labs. Beyond his hands-on experience and knowledge, Danny has my trust in providing solutions that benefit the students he serves as a first priority.
Since Danny came on board with the Laney College Industrial Maintenance cohort, a program designed to introduce students to Welding, Machining, Blueprint reading and Electricity, he has crafted a series of workshops giving students’ hands on activities to enhance their spatial reasoning and understanding of how things are made. Danny has truly elevated the quality of our program. He manages to generate a great deal of excitement and get the students really thinking about their futures and the career opportunities that will open up for them. We are thrilled to have him on the team.
Industrial Maintenance Program Coordinator
After taking a tour of the FabLab that Danny organized, built, and led on Castlemont's campus I was determined to somehow involve my class in the magic. Though I was not a math or science teacher, I still knew there would be a way to connect this opportunity to my content, English Language Development. And then the idea hit, I would partner with the space once a week to help my students design and construct book cases to help foster the culture of literacy on our campus. This partnership provided my students an authentic environment to practice their language in an authentic way and practice math and design thinking skills. The partnership was fruitful for all participants and it was an amazing opportunity to learn alongside my students with Danny taking the lead. His passion for the work and working with youth is infectious and all students felt successful under his care.
Oakland Unified School District Teacher
Since 2012 Danny Beesley has partnered with the Sustainable Urban Design Academy (SUDA) at Castlemont High School in East Oakland to design, build and create program for our Fablab to support our Mission to "Empower students through a highly rigorous, engaging and supportive learning environment to graduate prepared for college, career and life as designers and leaders of movements towards a sustainable and just world". Danny has been fundamental in re-envisioning the space and program to expose and develop students' skills in design, building and innovation. He has embodied a career pathway support for our students by engaging his skills, network and commitment at the high school, community college, industry and community levels.
Pathway Coach/SUDA Director
Castlemont High School
Danny has been working with the East Bay Career Pathways initiative to help us bring new opportunities to our students in engineering and advanced manufacturing. He has been a leader in spearheading efforts at Laney and with local high schools to establish FabLabs and has been able to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to support this — as well as greater efforts to bring new grant money to our region.
East Bay Career Pathways Director
Peralta Community College District Office