WEDC invests in fab lab equipment

RIVER FALLS – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced this week that the School District of River Falls (SDRF) is the recipient of a state grant to fund new fabrication laboratory (fab lab) facilities, which will equip Wisconsin students with essential skills for the 21st century’s global economy. SDRF was awarded $25,000 to expand their fab lab.

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. Twenty-one school districts throughout the state are being awarded a total of $508,030 in Fab Lab grants this year to establish or expand their fab labs.

“WEDC has invested over $3.9 million for the past seven years to provide 106 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.”

This is the second year SDRF received a fab lab grant from WEDC. Last year’s Fab Lab grant helped to support the purchase of three Tormach 770MX milling machines at the high school.

“We are grateful and excited to be recipients of this grant,” said Melisa Hansen, SDRF college and career readiness coordinator. “This current grant, along with $10,000 we received from the AnnMarie Foundation, will allow the purchase of a Tormach 15L Slant Pro Lathe. These items will help complete our Fab Lab at RFHS and allow for us to embrace current manufacturing trends and empower students and members of our community to learn more about the advanced manufacturing industry and the vast potential in that field. "

Submitted by School District of River Falls

May 24, 2022