This story was written by the Oshkosh Herald, your Oshkosh local newspaper direct mailed to over 30,000 homes and businesses every Wednesday.
High school students now have access to a Fab Lab, a state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory space, that had its grand opening on October 19 at Oshkosh North High School. The updated learning equipment within the Fab Lab supports programming in manufacturing and engineering and is available to North and West students as well as Wave Robotics members. The new space is aimed at better preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Equipment features of the lab include computer numerical control (CNC) mills, 3D printers, a platemaker and a CNC plasma cutter. CNC technology works with computer aided design software to control the cutting and shaping of materials.
“The Fab Lab experience creates a relevancy between academics, college career and community,” stated Julie Conrad, director of curriculum and assessment. “As a district we are focused on empowering the workforce of the future. For us that means giving students access to state-of-the-art machines, introducing them to local businesses, and connecting them with employers who can offer immediate high-paying jobs, as well as support their post-secondary education goals.”
A Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. grant toward the lab awarded last year sparked other business sponsors and funding from the Beach Endowment and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Community Impact Fund that totaled $385,410.
The district is working with Greater Oshkosh Area Economic Development Corp., Oshkosh FIRST Wave Robotics, Triangle Manufacturing, Oshkosh Corp., Schneider Electric-Square D, Witzke Electric, Miron Construction, Marvel Manufacturing, Discher Architectural Millwork, Amcor, Thysse, UW Oshkosh and Fox Valley Technical College on additional funding, in-kind services, partnerships and student mentoring to support courses and extracurricular projects in the Fab Lab.