Match funds provides expansion for fab lab
It took four years of applying for funding, but Lake Holcombe School’s fabrication lab will now reap the benefi ts of a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Grant, in matching funds. The WEDC issued Lake Holcombe $25,000, the district matched the amount up to $20,000 and the Lake Holcombe PRIDE Committee matched $5,000 of the needed money.
With the $50,000, the school’s fab lab can expand its capabilities and will be a cross curricular K-12 lab.
“The total amount will be used to transition our current la- “WEDC has invested over $2.8 million for the past five years, to provide 77 school districts across the state, with the equipment necessary to help students learn highdemand skills, including technology, manufacturing and engineering,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “Fab labs benefit not only the 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 allow their companies to grow and thrive.”
At Lake Holcombe, there is an office space located between the welding classroom and the auto shop classroom. The area will be cleaned out and transitioned into a fab lab setting, where the students and community members can work.
“The entire district and community will be able to utilize the lab, not just the tech ed students,” said Lorenzen. “Also, we will be expanding the capabilities of our student run company, LH Products. Also, we would continue to add equipment and resources to the lab.”
Lorenzen says short-term goals, are to set up the lab and purchase the equipment.
“Long-term goals, would be to post community hours,” he said, “where people from the community can come in and utilize the lab, and to integrate the lab into curriculum across the board, K-12.”
ser engraver and 3D printer into the designated fab lab area,” said tech ed instructor Andy Lorenzen. “The rest of the money will be used to purchase a new, bigger and better laser engraver, and a CNC router.”
Lake Holcombe was one of 31 school districts throughout the state, that were awarded $693,200 in fab lab grants this year, to establish, or expand, their fab labs.