Workshop helps teachers develop Fab Lab curricula

Original article published July 18, 2017.  From:

Educators who participated in the Fab Lab workshop are from left in front, Ameris Grapa, Kay McLain, Erin Wallschlaeger and Autumn Lampert. In back, Mike Wojtusik, Terri Kroll, Jennifer Hoiby, Erica Land, Kara Liebscher and David Lampert. Not pictured, Three Lakes Fab Lab manager Steve Yahr, Florence bat project presenter Kate Millan, and workshop facilitator Sylvia Tiala.


Teachers representing the Florence, Rhinelander and Three Lakes School Districts teamed up recently to learn how Fab Lab equipment can be used to teach subjects they may never have considered. Each of the school districts is a recent recipient of grant funds to help start a Fabrication Laboratory.

The workshop began with a presentation by Kate Millan who described how middle school students in Florence County worked to help save endangered bats. Millan said students researched white nose syndrome and the impacts it had on the environment and the economy.

Participants gained expertise using the laser engraver, vinyl cutter, CNC router, and 3-D printer to connect technical aspects of equipment operation to their own classrooms and bat-related curriculum.  T-shirts raising awareness of white nose syndrome in bats, printed chemical molecules, recipe card holders,  fake eggs to break brooding behavior in chickens, and bat house habitats are just a few examples of participants’ creativity.

This Collaborative Curriculum for Engaged Learning and Community project, funded by Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, was developed to create an innovative and collaborative environment where teachers, students and community members are free to explore and innovate.