Grafton School District gets WEDC grant for fab-lab facilities

By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton School District has been awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) to fund new fabrication laboratory (fab lab) facilities. 

On May 13, the district announced it received $25,000, which was part of $520,399 in grants given to 20 districts in the state. 

Gov. Tony Evers declared the day as Fab Lab Day in Wisconsin to celebrate the selection of this year’s recipients and the accomplishments of existing fab labs throughout the state. 

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.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding in order to expand our current fab lab facilities. We will be utilizing these funds to add equipment to our lab, including 3D printers, vinyl cutter and printer, and a computer-numerical-control router,” Grafton High School Principal Scott Mantei said.

“We are thankful to WEDC for funding this initiative and look forward to providing our students with additional opportunities to gain and enhance these skills.”

Individual school districts were eligible for grants up to $25,000. 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 officials from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, as well as three WEDC team members.

The 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 for instructional and educational purposes.

“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,” Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, said in a press release. 

“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.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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