OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The brand new ‘Fab Lab’ in Oshkosh North High School is giving students a chance to get hands-on experience with real-world machines.
“Learning how to use some of this new equipment, especially the CNC equipment, there’s so much need for help right now we don’t have the people to run the machines, so learning to run the stuff is huge. This technology we have today compared to what I used 30 years ago is so different,” explained Jeff Cysiewski, a Systems Mentor at the Fab Lab.
The lab is located in Oshkosh North but students in both high schools have access to the lab. The district said the school recently updated the curriculum to incorporate the new machinery.
“Having it be such an impactful program that the schools are now making courses around what we do to help with that is just amazing. And it’s so cool to see these students learn things that you never go to at that age,” said Bree Gahagan, Software Mentor at the Fab Lab.
The new lab is also a space that can help inspire young girls to enter the traditionally male-dominated fields of math and science.
“Having that impact and being a good role model for women and kinda helping with that gatekeeping feeling because it’s intimidating doing robotics,” added Gahagan. “And you’re programing this it seems like oh you need to know so much you’re maybe not cut out for it but really we teach you it all you don’t need to come in knowing what’s you’re doing and kinda helping usher in more diversity is a big step forward.”
The district said a motivator to get the lab up and running was to get students real-world ready in a variety of fields.
The lab is both publicly and privately funded through a state grant and local sponsorships.