MADISON (WKOW) -- Twenty-eight school districts in Wisconsin will receive funding to help students pursue careers in manufacturing and technical fields.
Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced $635,000 in grants for the districts Wednesday to establish or expand local fabrication laboratory (fab lab) facilities.
“The fab labs program engages students in science, math, and engineering, allowing them to create and invent all sorts of things from robots to 3D models,” Evers said. “The skills learned in Wisconsin’s fab labs can help prepare our kids for their future, including good-paying jobs in technology and manufacturing, which are critically important for our state’s future and our economy.”
Fab labs are high-tech workshops equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components like 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers and plasma cutters.
The grants will help schools purchase fab lab equipment for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle school, junior high or high school students.
The following school districts were awarded Fab Labs Grants:
- Cuba City School District, $21,938
- Montello School District, $25,000
- School District of Poynette, $9,222
- Columbus School District, $25,000
- Dodgeland School District, $25,000
- Southern Door County School District, $25,000
- Gresham School District, $19,500
- Washington Island School District, $25,000
- School District of Belleville, $13,000
- School District of Athens, $25,000
- School District of Nekoosa, $25,000
- Wauwatosa School District, $25,000
- Merton Community School District, $25,000
- Cornell School District, $25,000
- Elk Mound School District, $25,000
- Milwaukee Public Schools, $25,000
- Fontana Joint 8 School District, $25,000
- Sturgeon Bay School District, $25,000
- Prescott School District, $24,243
- River Falls School District, $25,000
- La Farge School District, $25,000
- School District of Alma Center-Humbird Merrillan, $24,816
- School District of Florence, $5,126
- School District of Wabeno, $25,000
- Kiel Area School District, $17,244
- Wonewoc-Union Center School District, $25,000
- School District of Omro, $25,000
- School District of Wisconsin Rapids, $25,000
The 28 public school districts are receiving a total of $635,089. 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 28 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 University of Wisconsin-Stout as well as three WEDC team members.
In addition to the grants, WEDC has developed a fab lab resource webpage that provides districts with information on how to set up and equip a fab lab, how to implement best practices designed to ensure a successful fab lab and more. Content for the page was provided by the UW-Stout and Fox Valley Technical College.