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SLIDESHOW: Charlottesville High School Sigma Lab opens
by Tim Shea | Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.
Charlottesville School Board member Ned Michie (center) examines objects students have 3D-printed
Charlottesville School Board member Ned Michie (center) examines objects students have 3D-printed
The Sigma Lab at Charlottesville High School
The Sigma Lab at Charlottesville High School
Steven Staples, Virginia's superintendent for public instruction, praised Charlottesville City Schools' efforts Thursday
Steven Staples, Virginia's superintendent for public instruction, praised Charlottesville City Schools' efforts Thursday
Charlottesville High School physics teacher Matt Shields addressing the audience during Thursday's opening
Charlottesville High School physics teacher Matt Shields addressing the audience during Thursday's opening
Charlottesville City Councilors Bob Fenwick and Dede Smith talk to a Charlottesville High School student about the new labs
Charlottesville City Councilors Bob Fenwick and Dede Smith talk to a Charlottesville High School student about the new labs
A 3D printer in action at Charlottesville High School
A 3D printer in action at Charlottesville High School
A Charlottesville High School student explains 3D printing
A Charlottesville High School student explains 3D printing
Charlottesville School Board member Colette Blount speaks to a Charlottesville High School student about advanced manufacturing
Charlottesville School Board member Colette Blount speaks to a Charlottesville High School student about advanced manufacturing
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On Thursday, state and local education officials gathered at Charlottesville High School to open the school’s new science lab. Named the Sigma Lab by CHS students because of the Greek symbol’s significance of numerous parts coming together to create a whole, the $1.26 million, 8,580 square foot facility provides students spaces to collaborate on an idea, utilize a computer-aided design process and 3D print a final product.

The lab—which is housed in the school’s media center—is Charlottesville City Schools’ second STEM infrastructure project in recent months. Last year the division opened labs at Buford Middle School. The effort marks an expansion of the division’s push toward project-based learning, and the emphasis on teaching engineering concepts through science instruction.