Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, WEDC Secretary Mark Hogan and other key leaders to award grants during statewide tour on Fab Lab Day
Madison, WI. May 13, 2019 – Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today announced that 20 school districts throughout the state have been awarded a total of more than $500,000 in grants to establish or expand local fabrication laboratory (fab lab) 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 has declared today as Fab Lab Day in Wisconsin, and to mark the occasion, he and Lt. Governor Barnes, along with WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan and other key state leaders, are visiting eight school districts to present the grants and celebrate their successes.
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
- 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.
In addition to the grants, WEDC has developed a fab labs resource page for its website that provides districts with information and a video on how to set up and equip a fab lab, how to implement best practices to ensure a successful fab lab and more. Content for the page was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Gateway Technical College.
For more information on the state’s fab labs, including resources for teachers, visit wedc.org/fablabs or follow #WIFabLab on social media.