I am thrilled to share with you some information about an ongoing project at Jackson Hole High School that began in the fall of 2012. In September 2012 a team from
TCSD #1 wrote and received a grant through the state referred to as the CTE/STEM Demonstration Grant. The
goal of this grant is to have school districts develop new, innovative programs that could be replicated around the state by other districts with an emphasis on the integration of Career/Technical Skills with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (otherwise known as STEM education). The project at Jackson Hole High School revolves around a very new, cutting edge form of education referred to as a “FabLab”…short for Digital Fabrication Lab. This is a purposefully designed space with modern technology including 3D printers, laser engravers, vinyl cutters and milling machines. As we continue to develop and refine our project, one of our main focuses is to include the integration of all content areas into the fabrication lab so that students can develop a deeper understanding of any subject matter through the process of “making”.
A necessary component of this project was to provide our teachers with a solid foundation on how this integration could work for their students and their curriculum.
Therefore, we applied for and received
additional funding through a federal Math and Science Partnership Grant to create a professional development opportunity for our staff (6-12 grades). We are currently developing this program with the help of our FabLab Advisory Board (comprised of local community
members, representatives from the University of Wyoming, Casper College and Central Wyoming College) and a team from Utah State University’s Instructional Technologies and Learning Sciences Department. We are excited about his yearlong endeavor with our teachers because the end result is our students learning things differently!
We began remodeling a portion of JHHS to accommodate this new space in March 2013. The new space will be available for our
professional development in August and for student use as soon as school starts in the fall.
These spaces have implications beyond our high school population. We are still trying to figure out how to open our space to the public beyond what we have already accomplished. In the first year we were open, we had 3 months of afterschool programming for students grades 3-5 and then ran 7 weeks of summer programming for grades 3-8 in our space. There are many hurdles to conquer in order to achieve this goal but it is one of our goals and something we hope to accomplish in the next year.
Nationally, STEM education is being promoted heavily as it is an avenue towards greater economic sustainability locally, nationally and globally. At Jackson Hole High School, the Fablab will be an additional branch to our already well-established STEM programming. We currently offer robotics and a nationally renowned engineering program called Project Lead the Way. The FabLab will make a great complement to these offerings and in many ways broaden our registration to include students who otherwise don’t view themselves as “techy” or “STEM”. One thing we do know is that we need to engage students in STEM programming to inspire and educate our future generations to continue contributing to the future economic prosperity of our country.
1910 High School Rd.
Jackson, WY 83001
+1 307 732-3775
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