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More than a Century of Hands-on Learning

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two course assistants in safety gear pour orange molten bronze into a sand mold

Beginning in 1904, Stanford engineering students spent scores of hours each week learning practical skills in the Machine Shops. That brick-walled collection of buildings was the birthplace of today’s Product Realization Lab.

Over the decades, students flocked to the PRL because they wanted “to do something other than read, write and do problem sets,” as one freshman explained in 1974.

The PRL’s brilliant mentors and teachers provide engineering and non-engineering students with insights into the industrial culture in which we live, expose them to processes and materials in a nurturing environment, and support their making experiences.