To understand is to invent or to reinvent. This principle, by the Swiss educator Jean Piaget, is one of the premises of constructivist education, which argues that knowledge must be built by the student from his exposure to practical situations and interactive activities. Within this logic, places that offer hands-on learning are increasingly common in educational institutions – or at their service – and contribute to the strengthening of the so-called maker culture, or the do-it-yourself culture.
Fab Labs and Makerspaces are environments that offer problem solutions in a practical and innovative way. Equipped with digital machinery, hand tools and organized in physical spaces that favor the exchange of knowledge and collaboration, these places work as actual laboratories and workshops. It is possible to do basically anything in them – from joinery products to 3D printing.
Get to know some of these places in Belo Horizonte:
FAZ is a shared workshop for all kinds of makers. The makerspace offers joinery and eletronics stations, laser cutting machine, 3D printer, cutting plotter and CNC router. The stations can be reserved per hour or per day and, along with the use of machines, equipment and tools, FAZ offers the support of specialized monitors.
Located at UNI-BH Estoril campus, Anima Lab is considered the largest Fab Lab in Latin America, with over 700m2 open to the community. In addition to a maker lab, the place works as a learning center and an extension of the classroom, with a startup development program and a room for active learning-teaching methodologies.
Senai Open Laboratory was built at the Senai Fiemg Technology and Innovation Center and offers, in addition to a machinery and coworking room, meeting and training rooms and social common area. The laboratory also has an open database, based on challenges proposed by the industries, and conducts training and lectures, through a network of mentors and partners from various areas. In partnership with other units of Senai-MG, the laboratory also offers access to Rapid Prototyping environments, with infrastructure in areas of food production, clothing, automation, digital manufacturing, programming, civil construction, steel, metallurgy, refrigeration, welding, Metrology, machining, tooling, chemistry, polymers, design, among others.