Supersize CITC: Super Fab Lab to Open March 2023

A view of the future Super Fabrication Laboratory, which will open in March 2023 and expand CITC’s STEM education programs and fabrication opportunities to more youth and community members. The photo above shows a view of the future wood shop at the new Fab Lab.

In 2013, CITC opened Alaska’s first Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab)—a digital creative space that provides 3D printers, robotic routers, laser cutters, and more to empower and equip young people to build their dreams into reality.

Ten years later, those dreams have outgrown the existing Fab Lab.

In March 2023, CITC will open the Super Fab Lab, a larger space with more advanced technology that will allow CITC to offer robust programming and learning opportunities to more people.

Construction staff look at future staff offices on the second floor of the new Super Fab Lab.

Construction is well underway at the Super Fab Lab, located 7710 Grass Creek Road in the Muldoon neighborhood. Once the building has been renovated, the entire CITC Youth Empowerment team will be relocated to the new facility. There, they will have access to the latest high-tech equipment, a media room with green screen, a more robust computer lab—and, above all, increased space for programs.

“Right now, our team does an amazing job in a tiny space. I’m excited to expand into a larger space, where our staff can engage with Alaska Native students from throughout the community,” said CITC COO LeeAnn Garrick.

In addition to extending the reach of CITC’s kindergarten – 12th grade STEM education model, the Super Fab Lab will support Alaska’s growing Fab Lab network, which includes a number of “mini Fab Labs” our Youth Empowerment department has installed in schools all over Alaska.

The local community will also benefit from the Fab Lab expansion: The new facility will bring digital technology to a range of people and organizations, including small businesses and entrepreneurs who can benefit from tools currently unavailable in Anchorage.

Already, the Super Fab Lab has hosted entrepreneurs from the Indigenous Set Up Shop program, which offers free business training, product design, and lending services to entrepreneurs at every stage of business development. At the Super Fab Lab, Set Up Shop participants can prototype and develop products for their businesses. The first Indigenous Set Up Shop cohort completed the program this June, even as construction continued at the Super Fab Lab.

Funding from partners like the Rasmuson Foundation, Northrim Bank, Wells Fargo, the Enterprise Foundation, and numerous private donors has made the new Super Fab Lab a reality. CITC is grateful for the investment these donors have made in the next generation of Alaska’s technology and innovation leaders.

In December, with the assistance of the Native Village of Eklutna, including President Aaron Leggett, the CITC Board of Directors will select a Dena’ina name for the new facility.

CITC is grateful to the following donors for their support of the new Super Fab Lab:

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust,

Rasmuson Foundation

First National Bank Alaska

the Enterprise Foundation

Northrim Bank

Wells Fargo

The Super Fab Lab is slated to open in March 2023.

Cuts in the flooring at the Super Fab Lab make room for power and data boxes for future fabrication equipment.
Even as the Super Fab Lab underwent construction, the new facility still hosted the first cohort of CITC’s Indigenous Set Up Shop program this year.