Empowering the Workforce of the Future

Public Invited to Grand Opening of New Fab Lab at Oshkosh North High School, happening Tuesday, October 19.

Oshkosh students now have access to a state-of-the-art makerspace, known as a Fab Lab or digital fabrication laboratory. A grand opening celebration for the Fab Lab at Oshkosh North High School will be hosted by FIRST Wave Robotics and will take place on October 19. Students, families, staff, and community members are invited to experience the unique space and learn about the District’s commitment to preparing students to be college, career, and community ready. 

The Fab Lab at Oshkosh North Grand Opening is happening Tuesday, October 19, 2021 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Oshkosh North High School located at 1100 W Smith Avenue, Oshkosh. The public will have an opportunity to see the new space and equipment and talk with staff and students. The event will feature and is hosted by Wave Robotics which is now housed in the Fab Lab. Attendees can enter via Door #9 and follow signs to the Fab Lab. No registration required. Face coverings must be worn by all attendees per OASD policy. 

The Fab Lab at Oshkosh North High School is a place for innovation, invention, collaboration and learning through digital fabrication. The updated learning space and equipment within the Fab Lab supports state-of-the-art programming in manufacturing and engineering and is currently available to Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West students, as well as Wave Robotics members. Through the creation of this space, the District is able to better prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In fact, many of the District’s technology and engineering courses were revised in anticipation of the Fab Lab, and student projects were updated to capitalize on the use of the newly installed and anticipated equipment. Current features of the Fab Lab include a Tormach CNC Mill, Stratasys F120 3D Printer, Platemaker, MarkForged 3D Printers, CNC Plasma Cutter, Two ShopSabre CNC Mills, and Hass CNC Mill. 

“The Fab Lab experience creates a relevancy between academics, college, career, and community,” stated Julie Conrad, OASD Director of Curriculum and Assessment. “As a District we are focused on empowering the workforce of the future. For us that means giving students access to state-of-the-art machines, introducing them to local businesses, and connecting them with employers who can offer immediate high-paying jobs, as well as support their post-secondary education goals.”

The Fab Lab at Oshkosh North High School is a partnership between the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) and numerous local organizations and businesses. In 2020, the OASD was awarded a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Fab Lab Grant, which was the catalyst for further business sponsors and funding from the Beach Endowment and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Community Impact Grant. The result has been a $385,410 investment in college, career, and community readiness. 

The OASD has partnered with Greater Oshkosh Area Economic Development Corporation (GoEDC), Oshkosh FIRST Wave Robotics, Triangle Manufacturing, Oshkosh Corporation, Schneider Electric-Square D, Witzke Electric, Miron Construction, Marvel Manufacturing, Discher Architectural Millwork, Amcor, Thysse, UW-Oshkosh, and Fox Valley Technical College.  Each business partner is assisting in securing additional funding, in-kind services, partnerships, and industry professionals as mentors to work with students during the school day on projects in courses as well in extra-curriculars such as FIRST Wave Robotics in the Fab Lab. 

At this time, the true potential of project partnerships has not been realized due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Additionally, access to the Fab Lab outside of school hours by the community and students is limited but is expected to grow once COVID-19 restrictions allow. The OASD looks forward to continuing to provide opportunities for community engagement and innovation through the Fab Lab.