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(Edgerton, WI) Excerpts Courtesy of the Gazette

Edgerton School District is one of five area districts receiving a $25,000 state grant to create Fabrication Laboratory, according to a news release from the governor's office. Each grant requires matching funds from the districts.

A Fabrication Laboratory, or Fab Lab, is a space for students to get hands-on experience on concepts related to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. The Edgerton School District hopes to have its Fab Lab set up by fall, Superintendent Dennis Pauli said.

“Providing our students a Fab Lab experience will introduce them to STEM content and skills required to compete in a global market place,” Pauli said, according to a district news release. “The Fab Lab will be a state-of-the-art classroom designed to transform thinking, promote innovation and support the district's commitment to providing students a rich variety of STEM opportunities.”

The 2015-17 state budget includes $600,000 for 25 Wisconsin school districts receiving grants through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, according to the release.

STEM occupations are projected to grow 17 percent through 2018 and pay 26 percent more on average than non-STEM jobs. They've grown three times faster than non-STEM jobs over the last 10 years. By 2018, it's estimated more than 1.2 million STEM jobs in the country will be unfilled because of a lack of trained applicants, Pauli said in the release.

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