Unified School District of Antigo selected for fab labs equipment funding
District is one of just 21 selected statewide to received grant
For the Antigo Times
Antigo, WI – April 25, 2017 – The Unified School District of Antigo has received a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help develop a fabrication laboratory (“fab lab”) to help students develop the key skills they need to succeed in the workforce.
The grant was presented to the district on Tuesday, April 25, which Governor Scott Walker declared as “Fab Lab Day” in Wisconsin. Among the speakers at the district’s grant ceremony, which was held at Antigo High School, were Governor Scott Walker, UW System President Ray Cross, Unified School District of Antigo Superintendent Brian Misfeldt, and Antigo High School Principal Tom Zamzow
“On behalf of the state of Wisconsin, I congratulate the Unified School District of Antigo for being one of 21 recipients statewide of our fab lab grants, which are helping students develop the skills they will need for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Governor Walker. “The Unified School District of Antigo has developed an outstanding plan for its fab lab program that is going to result in more innovation in the classrooms and the community, and WEDC is proud to support the district’s efforts.”
WEDC awarded grants to 21 school districts statewide to assist them with equipment purchases for instructional and educational purposes in fab labs, which are high-tech workshops with the latest industry equipment used in a wide range of manufacturing facilities.
WEDC provided grants of up to $25,000 to individual school districts, or up to $50,000 to consortiums of two or more districts, for the creation and/or expansion of fab labs. The funds may be used to purchase equipment used for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior high, or high school students. Applicants must match the amount of funding provided by WEDC.
This is the second round of funding for the Fab Labs Grants. Governor Walker’s 2015-17 state budget included $500,000 to fund the initial round of grants. In response to an overwhelming number of applications in that first year, WEDC provided another $100,000 for the program, and in May 2016, grants of up to $25,000 were awarded to 25 school districts.
Because of the important role that fab labs play in student training and workforce development, Governor Walker’s 2017-19 budget calls for another $1 million in fab lab funding over the next two years.
WEDC’s fab labs funding helps give students hands-on experience, allowing them to put into practice concepts they have learned in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) courses.
Fab labs have the potential to benefit individual students, school districts and the state’s economy as a whole. For more information, visit www.inwisconsin.com/fablabs
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.