Northland Pines School District receives grant for Fab LabSubmitted: 05/02/2016
Story By Chad Roethlisberger

Northland Pines School District receives grant for Fab Lab
EAGLE RIVER - Today's manufacturing industry relies on an increasing knowledge of science, technology, and mathematics. And thanks to a grant awarded to the Northland Pines School District, teachers will be able to provide their students with the latest technology the manufacturing industry has to offer.

Northland Pines High School will use the money to fund new fabrication laboratory facilities, which will help teach students valuable skills. The district announced Monday that it was awarded nearly 
$25,000 to create a Fab Lab.

"The money was available statewide so all schools had an opportunity to apply for the grant," said Northland Pines Director of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment Gayle Daniel. "There were many schools that did submit applications for this grant, and fortunately we were one of the 25 that were chosen by the governor to have funds to continue and build a program here at Northland Pines."

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation provides grants of up to $25,000 to eligible Wisconsin public school districts for the creation or expansion of Fab Labs. The new equipment will be available to all grade levels.

"Although the Fab Lab itself will be in the high school, were going to incorporate middle school students and even elementary school students to come over and use the lab with a certified staff member," said Northland Pines Middle School Principal Dan Marien. "So it's really going to open up opportunities for our younger students to get into an engineering environment."

Although the equipment will be mostly used for different tech. ed. courses, the goal is to open up the Fab Lab to other subject areas in the school district as well.

"This grant allows us to basically upgrade a lot of different areas," said Northland Pines High School tech. ed. teacher Josh Fuller. "And that'll get the kids dealing with more technologically advanced pieces of equipment and things we don't even have now."

The school districts have a say in the type of equipment they purchase with the grants.

"Well, over the next couple of years we have a lot of decisions to make as far as exactly what we're gonna get," said Fuller. "But some of the opportunities are getting another laser and kinda expanding that area. We could upgrade our 3D printer and possibly add maybe a third one."

The Rhinelander and Three Lakes school districts were also awarded grant money for their Fab Labs.

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