Milwaukee Public Schools holds ribbon-cutting ceremony for GE Innovation Labs
Labs will serve as a place for MPS students to learn STEM-based problem-solving skills
MILWAUKEE (July 26, 2021) -- Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and the GE Foundation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the in-person opening of six digital fabrication labs within the district. The ceremony was held Monday morning at Andrew S. Douglas Middle School. These labs are meant to help inspire and prepare MPS students for a STEM-driven and innovative future.
The GE Innovation Labs are a part of the final phase of the GE Foundation's 2011 grant to MPS. These labs will serve as a place for MPS students to learn, create, play and invent utilizing problem-solving skills, teamwork, and tools for authentic problems. Local businesses will be invited to share some of their product challenges for students to solve.
"We are proud our partnership with the G.E. Foundation has culminated with this resource to provide our students with real-world STEM experience,” MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley said. “As we prepare for a full return to in-person learning, these labs will assist our continued commitment to accelerate student achievement and cultivate leadership among our young people."
The GE Innovation Labs have been placed in six MPS middle schools: Andrew S. Douglas, Wedgewood Park International, Audubon Technology and Communication, Hayes Bilingual, George Washington Carver Academy, and Rufus King International Middle School.
“Our goal is to spark interest and excitement in STEM careers, and more importantly, help students become adaptive problem solvers for the jobs of the future,” GE Foundation Executive Director David Barash said. “We are proud to work with MPS and to bring GE Innovation Labs as a lasting legacy of our partnership together.”
“This commitment by the GE Foundation and Milwaukee Public Schools provides extraordinary opportunities for students across the region to engage with emergent technology while they develop the professional skills, competencies, and technical fluency that are in increasingly high demand across every industry sector,” said Michael Stone, founding partner at devX.
The total cost of the $1.8 million labs, including educator training and supplies for each lab, is being funded by the GE Foundation's $20 million grant to the district. Health and safety measures have also been integrated into the labs. Each lab is at least 1,000 square feet and equipped with a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, multiple 3D printers, CNC router, graphic design software, soldering station, multiple types of saws, and sanders.
About GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, an independent charitable organization funded by GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. Through Next Engineers, we are committed to increasing the diversity of young people in engineering. We are inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through our Matching Gifts Program and Disaster Relief. GE STAR awards provide financial support to children of eligible children of GE employees for their achievements.
Learn more at www.gefoundation.com or follow the GE Foundation on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.