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Abby K-12 gets $15,000 grant to expand fab lab

TheAbbotsfordSchoolhasbeenawarded a $15,000 grant from the state of Wisconsin for expanding the high school’s fabrication laboratory (“fab lab”) with new equipment purchases.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced May 1 that Abbotsford was one of 31 school districts throughout the state to receive $693,200 in Fab Lab grants this year to establish or expand their fab labs.

“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 high-demand 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.”

The WEDC said fab labs equip Wisconsin students with essential skills for the 21st century’s global economy.

“We are excited to have been awarded a fab lab grant for the second consecutive year. The grant will allow us to expand our fab lab capabilities under the direction of instructor Randy Pempek,” said Ryan Bargender, Abbotsford Middle/Senior High principal. “We look forward to continuing to work with local businesses and utilizing our fab lab to prepare our students for manufacturing jobs of the present and future.”

WEDC’s Fab Labs Grant Program is designed to support hands-on learning in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) by assisting public school districts with equipment purchases such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers and plasma cutters for instructional and educational purposes.

Fab labs have the potential to benefit individual students, school districts, the surrounding community and Wisconsin’s economy as a whole. For more information, visit WEDC’s fab lab resource page or follow #WIFabLab on Twitter.