The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is accepting applications for the sixth year of its Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) Grant Program, which provides funding to help public schools build or expand fab labs: high-tech workshops with equipment such as 3D printers, laser engravers and computer numerical control routers.
WEDC will provide grants of up to $25,000 to public school districts, or up to $50,000 to consortia of two or more districts, to purchase equipment to create and/or expand fab labs for use by all grade levels, thereby supporting hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education.
For this year’s funding cycle, applicants are being asked to match 50% of the grant amount being requested. A district requesting a grant of $25,000, for example, must provide a match of at least $12,500.
The grants will be awarded through a competitive process, with applicants evaluated on their readiness, planning, curriculum, business and community partnerships, financial need and previous awards. Recipients will be announced in the spring.
WEDC also is working with UW-Stout and Fox Valley Technical College to develop an online tool to increase collaboration among school districts with fab labs.
To find out more about the fab-lab grant program, including application details, visit wedc.org/fablabs. The deadline is Jan. 7.