Fab Lab Day in Wisconsin brings funding to Rhinelander
Additional grant money will add equipment to existing lab
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
The spotlight was on Rhinelander High School’s industrial tech wing Tuesday, as the district received its second $25,000 Fabrication Laboratory matching grant in as many years from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. Rob Swearingen were in Rhinelander to announce the award. The grant award process was competitive, said Kleefisch, with only 21 of the 69 districts that submitted applications, receiving funding.
“With the combination of academic and career planning, we think this fab lab will do extraordinary things to get young people invested in local business, in particular our manufacturing and engineering economy,” Kleefisch said. “We are excited about the future of the Rhinelander Hodags.”
Swearingen, a Rhinelander High School alumnus, said the lab provides hands-on, real-world experience.
“Anecdotally, fab labs have turned around some students who didn’t connect well with the typical school day and this gives them a reason to come to school,” Swearingen said. “Truancy is down. Students come to school earlier, come in on days off to work on projects.”
The additional funding will mean expanded programming and new equipment, said Rhinelander High School principal David Ditzler.
Read the full story, complete with student interviews, in the April 30 Star Journal.