Whitehall School District awarded Fab Lab Grant

Whitehall School District, along with 19 other Wisconsin school districts, were awarded fabrication laboratory (fab lab) grants.

Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) awarded more than $500,000 in grants to the school districts to establish or expand local fabrication laboratory facilities.

“Over the last four years, WEDC has invested over $2.1 million to provide 58 schools across the state the type of equipment needed to help students master the skills that are in high demand in the job market, including manufacturing, technology and engineering,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “These grants represent an important investment in education and workforce development to ensure that Wisconsin students have the skills and training they need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century.”

Governor Evers declared today as Fab Lab Day in Wisconsin.

A fab lab is a high-technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers and plasma cutters. Through its Fab Labs Grant Program, WEDC is supporting the purchase of fab lab equipment for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior high or high school students.

The following school districts were awarded Fab Lab Grants today:

— Abbotsford (Clark and Marathon Counties), $25,000
— Beloit Turner (Rock County), $25,000
— Brown Deer (Milwaukee County), $25,000
— Fall River (Columbia County), $25,000
— Grafton (Ozaukee County), $25,000
— Hayward (Sawyer County), $25,000
— Lakeland Union High School Consortium (Oneida County), $41,628
— Maple (Douglas County), $22,937
— Merrill (Lincoln County), $24,761
— Milwaukee Public Schools (Milwaukee County), $25,000

— Mount Horeb (Dane County), $25,000
— Necedah (Juneau County), $12,220
— Southern Door (Door County), $25,000
— St. Francis (Milwaukee County), $25,000
— Thorp (Clark County), $24,157
— Three Lakes (Oneida County), $20,640
— Wabeno (Forest County), $25,000
— Wauwatosa (Milwaukee County), $24,056
— Whitehall (Trempealeau County), $50,000
— Wisconsin Rapids (Wood County), $25,000

The 20 public school districts are receiving a total of $520,399 in Fab Labs Grants from WEDC. Individual school districts were eligible for up to $25,000, and consortiums of two or more districts were eligible for up to $50,000. The program requires matching funds from each district.

WEDC received 56 applications, which were evaluated based on readiness and long-range planning, curriculum, business and community partnerships, financial need and previous awards. The review committee consisted of experts from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and UW-Oshkosh, as well as three WEDC team members.

For more information on the state’s fab labs, including resources for teachers, visit wedc.org/fablabs or follow #WIFabLab on Twitter.

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