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Town group to get $25K for collaborative work spaces

$5K matching grant gives school aims STEAM


The CoLab @ Arlington, a group aiming to establish a space in town marrying education and technology, will be getting as much as $25,000 from the Collaborative Workspace Grant Program administered by MassDevelopment and has received a donation of $5,000 to help match the grant.

"We are off to a great start," Lisa Armstrong Smith told supporters in an email Tuesday, Nov. 28.

With the Baker administration grant, announced Nov. 6, the group aims to assess interest in such a space in town, which would be used for collaborative learning, STEAM efforts and have a business potential. The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math, and Co-Lab plans to include "digital" with "arts."

The CoLab @ Arlington would provide interactive work space where ed-tech entrepreneurs from Arlington and from surrounding communities can develop and disseminate ideas with one another, broadening the nature of economic development in Arlington.

The CoLab also aims to enhance the impact of ed-tech development in Arlington Public Schools by helping teachers incorporate technology into their curriculum and, perhaps most importantly, providing a wide range of direct learning opportunities for students. They would include ed-tech entrepreneurial apprenticeships and independent projects, software development and tech-related skill-development exercises or classes.

The recent Town Hall program titled "Double Take: Stories that Make You Think Twice from the Arlington Community," sponsored by the town Human Rights Commission, included Scott Lozier, creator of the Colab @ Arlington. 

The group has not settled on a location yet. Included in past discussions was the vacant part of the Arlington Litho property, next to Arlington High. Two projects are planned for part of that site -- Upbeat Cycling and a mixed-use development project where a now-demolished service station once stood.

If you are interested in supporting the collaborative and would like to get involved, see the group's website at  

This news announcement was published Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

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