The University of Louisville’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering has entered a partnership with Nativity Academy at St. Boniface for a new maker space. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday at Nativity Academy to mark its debut. The goal of the partnership is to encourage lifelong education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields at Nativity Academy. The school, located at 529 E. Liberty St., is an independent Catholic middle school serving families that demonstrate financial need. The Speed School built out and equipped the new maker space, which has a laser cutter, 3-D printer, band saw, drill press and other machines. The space is meant to be an innovative learning hub with equipment to design and build solutions to real-world problems. A gift from Martha and Frank Diebold made the project possible. Frank Diebold earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1973 from Speed School. “This maker space will be a place where kids can do hands-on engineering projects and interact with our Speed School students,” said acting Speed School Dean John Usher. “But more importantly, it’s a place to ignite their passion for high tech and help them build their self-confidence.” The partnership with Nativity Academy is similar to one announced in December between UofL and West End School, a free, private, college-preparatory school for at-risk elementary and middle school boys. As part of both partnerships, Speed School will schedule engineering educational events and Speed School students will provide weekly tutoring sessions. In addition, Speed School will offer up to five full-tuition scholarships to graduates of each school who earn their high school diplomas in spring 2018 and beyond. Check out photos from the ribbon-cutting ceremony here.