Superintendent John Lavoie
57 River Rd, Andover,
For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
GLTS Partners with AFFOA to Pilot Advanced Functional Fabric Curricula
ANDOVER — Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to announce that Greater Lawrence Technical School is working with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) and MIT Edgerton Center to develop and pilot an advanced functional fabric curricula for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) students.
Over the past few decades, the U.S. has lost many of its manufacturing capabilities in fiber and textiles. However, recent breakthroughs in fiber materials and manufacturing processes have allowed design and production of advanced functional fabrics that see, hear, sense, communicate, store and convert energy, regulate temperature, monitor health and change color.
Currently in the works, the new curricula will prepare students for a developing industry that blends traditional and nontraditional manufacturing skills — focusing on the transformation of advanced functional fabrics, like fibers, yarns, and textiles into highly sophisticated devices and systems.
“An advanced functional fabric pathway offers students far more than an opportunity to pursue a career, it allows them to be part of a potential industry that will hopefully impact the quality of people’s lives,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “Students will be inspired and excited to be the first entrepreneurs to design and produce high tech clothes of the future.”
GLTS faculty will be embedded at the AFFOA’s Cambridge headquarters for the next four months, working with leaders in the industry to learn the ins and outs of the trade. At the same time, over the next 18 months, GLTS, AFFOA and the MIT Edgerton Center will collaborate to create an introductory-level curricula for students in GLTS’ STEAM Innovation Labs and the machine tool technology shop.
The curricula will have two interwoven learning pathways that support students’ abilities to build a multi-skilled and multi-faceted framework, encompassing machining, manufacturing and engineering design.
Together these pathways are expected to position students for multiple degrees and career opportunities in advanced manufacturing, functional fabrics and more. The program will also help AFFOA develop a model for scaling similar programs throughout the Commonwealth, in other states and Fabric Discovery Centers, as well as developing a standard for making program materials widely available.