The 21st job industry is characterized by changing needs. The conventional education system has left out practical skills that are required by students in the workplace. For this reason, students graduate from school with a lesser ability to help them cope up in the job industry.
Waunakee Innovation Center was established by Waunakee Community high school, to foster innovation and creativity amongst the Waunakee students and community. The innovative center provides a platform where students can share their creative projects and skills.
To streamline the project, Waunakee community high school has partnered with other organizations to develop a FAB Lab that will provide a space that will nurture students and community members’ talents.
Waunakee Fab Lab
Waunakee Fab Lab is postulated to promote innovation using the three primary values of creativity, innovation, and ingenuity. The school management has designated a store, which was once used as the school’s woods laboratory, to act as the Fab Lab.
The FAB Lab project will take three phases to complete.
- Phase one is scheduled to be complete in the period 2016-2017. During the period, the existing innovation space will be renovated, staff will be trained, equipment will be installed, and curriculum will be developed.
- The second phase is scheduled for 2017-2018. During this stage, additional equipment will be fitted, and the school management will seek for more partnerships.
- In the third phase, which is scheduled for 2018-2019, the project will incorporate community members, and more FAB labs will be opened in various places.
Waunakee community high school was inspired to develop the creativity center by other established Fab labs. Among the already operational labs are the Stoughton School District FAB Lab and sector 67, a charity that supports community members to develop technical skills.
The school administration has already received a $25,000 grant from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to kick start the project. The school management has already started to employ technology teachers who will help to mentor the students.
The project will take three phases to complete;
The FAB Lab will focus on four major areas.
- Fostering science, technology, arts, engineering, and math technology (STEAM)
STEAM technology is a major contributor to the American economy. Due to its importance, Waunakee Innovation Center will offer a space where the community and schools will nurture their STEAM skills.
- Community Education
Waunakee center will provide community education classes that will promote creativity, ingenuity, and innovation amongst community members.
- Contemporary education
Besides STEAM technology, the innovation center will also teach students various life skills that are required to succeed in both their future workplaces and community. Waunakee Innovation Center provides a platform where students will practically test important skill needed in the normal life.
The skills that will be taught to students include problem-solving skills, communication skills, creativity skills and leadership skills
- Fostering students to become college and career ready
Most of the skills that will be provided in the innovative center will prepare students for their college and career. Students graduating from the center will be capable of applying classroom knowledge to their real life situations.
The school management describes their FAB Lab project as an incubation space that could raise young entrepreneurs. Most people supporting the project felt that it was an innovative platform that could change the lives of community members and that of students.