KEWAUNEE – The Kewaunee School District has received a $25,000 matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to establish or expand facilities for a fab lab, or “fab lab,” for its schools, the WEDC announced Tuesday.
A “fab lab” is a high-tech workshop equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers, laser engravers, CNC routers, and plasma cutters. The grant program allows school districts to purchase such equipment for educational purposes for elementary, middle, middle, or high school students.
“WEDC has invested more than $3.9 million over the past seven years to provide 106 schools across the state with the equipment needed to help students learn in-demand skills, including technology, manufacturing, and engineering,” Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, said in a statement. “Fab Labs not only benefit students themselves with important technology and career skills, but they also benefit Wisconsin employers, who will be able to find workers with the right skills to enable their businesses to grow. and prosper.”
The Kewaunee District will use the grant money to upgrade some of its technology education equipment and purchase new equipment, Superintendent Scott Fritz told the Star-News. This includes an improved plasma cutter, engraver and screen printer.
Fritz said technical education teachers Randy Charles and Casey Mumper were working on plans to use the new and improved equipment for the school’s technology classes and STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math for STEM, with the arts included for STEAM) by the start of the next school year.
“It’s very exciting,” Fritz said. “We think this is a great opportunity to expand our technology education and get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math.”
Along with purely educational uses, Fritz said the district plans to create a student-run school store early next school year, and improved or new technology equipment may allow students to print T-shirts. and other equipment, to cut plates and engrave. items that could be sold in the store.
“We are already integrating the store into some student schedules for next year,” Fritz said.
Kewaunee is one of 21 school districts statewide to have won a Fab Lab grant, with a total of $508,030 awarded. Seventeen districts received the maximum amount of $25,000 for individual school districts, while a consortium of three districts received $32,399. The program requires matching funds from each district.
For more information on the State Manufacturing Laboratory Program, visit wedc.org/fablabs.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
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