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Special Combo Issue



                                                                                                                                   fall 2020
            TEACHING                                                                          anufacturing






                             TODAY WI                                      ™                        TODAY                               Wi       tM




                    WISCONSIN’S 4K–12 EDUCATION CONNECTION                          CONNECTINg & ExplOrINg MANUfACTUrINg IN WISCONSIN

                          Omro High School Wins                                                   31 Wisconsin School

                          National Samsung ‘Solve                                                 Districts awarded

                          for Tomorrow’ Contest                                                   fab lab grants


                                                               (STEM)  can  be     On   May   1,
                                                               used  to  solve  a   2020,   Wisconsin’s
                                                               local  problem.  As   Governor  and  the
                                                               a  community  that   Wisconsin Economic
                                                               is  part  of  the  Lake   Development   Cor-
                                                               Winnebego  system,   poration   (WEDC)
                                                               ice fishing is a way   today announced that
                                                               of  life,  and  falling   31  school  districts
                                                               through  the  ice  is   throughout  the  state
                                                               always  a  danger.   have  been  awarded
                                                               The  high  school   a  total  of  more  than
                                                               team  learned  the   $690,000 in grants to
                                                               engineering  design   establish  or  expand
                                                               process  and  col-  local   fabrication
            Last June, on a Facebook Live channel,   laborated  with  scientists  and  other  experts   laboratory  (fab  lab)   Fab Lab at Washington Island School District. (See article on page 10)
        science  and  engineering  teacher  Rob  Turner   throughout  the  school  year  to  develop  their   facilities.  A fab lab is a high-technology workshop
        and his team of Omro High School students   prototype.                     “The fab lab program remains one of the   equipped with computer-controlled manufac-
        learned that they were one of the five winners   Due  to  the  pandemic,  the  team  had  to   best  ways  for  students  to  gain  experience  in   turing components such as 3D printers, laser
        of  Samsung’s  national  Solve  for  Tomorrow   meet virtually to prepare for the final competi-  the high-tech manufacturing jobs where Wis-  engravers, computer numerical control routers
        Contest.  After  advancing  through  all  three   tion. This also meant the in-person competition   consin leads,” the Governor said. “During the   and plasma cutters. Through its Fab Labs Grant
        levels  of  the  competition,  the  Omro  High   in New York had to be canceled. “They did an   current coronavirus crisis, when we’ve needed   Program, WEDC is supporting the purchase of
        School  team  answered  questions  from  the   awesome job rising to that really unorthodox   quick turnaround for protective gear and other   fab lab equipment for instructional and educa-
        judges  in  the  final  round  of  the  competition   challenge,” Turner said. “As a teacher, you try   medical  devices,  those  manufacturers  have   tional purposes by elementary, middle, junior
        about their robot that can traverse ice with a   to prepare them for most of the challenges they   become even more important to our state.”  high or high school students.
        sensor to measure ice thickness in real-time.  will run into, but no one could have predicted   “WEDC  has  invested  more  than  $2.8   The  following  school  districts  were
            “We were the fifth to be announced live,”   this. They did a really good job answering the   million  over  the  past  five  years  to  provide   awarded Fab Labs Grants:
        Turner said. He spoke with the students over   questions the judges had for them.”  77  school  districts  across  the  state  with  the   •  Merrill Area Public Schools, $15,000
        Zoom after the announcement. “Some of the   The  judges  were  most  interested  in  the   equipment  necessary  to  help  students  learn
        kids-- their hope was fleeting, but I set them up   mechanics of how the robot works and plans   high-demand  skills,  including  technology,   •  School District of Brown Deer, $25,000
        the day before understanding that they already   for the future for continuing with this type of   manufacturing and engineering,” said the sec-  •  Mellen School District, $24,500
        won 50 thousand dollars and were the top of   technology.  Judges  were  impressed  with  the   retary and CEO of WEDC. “Fab labs benefit   •  Rice Lake Area School District, $25,000
        thousands of schools. They were all freaking   fact that the kids had a solid, functioning pro-  not only the students themselves with impor-  •  School District of Beloit Turner, $25,000
        out when they heard.”               totype.                             tant technology and career skills, but they also   •  Milwaukee Public Schools, $25,000
            The  Samsung  Solve  for  Tomorrow   According  to  Turner,  several  students   benefit Wisconsin employers, who will be able
        Contest  requires  participants  to  show  how                          to find workers with the right skills to allow   •  School District of Abbotsford, $15,000
        science,  technology,  engineering,  and  math    Continued on page 5   their companies to grow and thrive.”             Continued on page 5


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