Four schools in the Indiana Uplands have been selected to join ROI’s UpLabs network, a collaboration of schools that have embedded digital fabrication labs to empower students as adaptive problem solvers through making. With state-of-the-art equipment and project-based learning instruction, these labs are developing a region of makers ready to excel in the next generation of advanced STEM careers.
ROI welcomes the following schools to the UpLabs network:
● Bloomington Graduation School (Monroe County Community School Corporation)
● Loogootee Middle School (Loogootee Community School Corporation)
● North Daviess Jr/Sr High School (North Daviess Community School Corporation)
● Northeast Dubois Intermediate School (Northeast Dubois County School Corporation)
In each digital fabrication lab, students have access to 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing, vinyl cutting, and microelectronics equipment to stimulate experiential learning, rapid prototyping, creativity, and problem-solving tied to academic content and authentic problems. Students are presented with opportunities to develop adaptive learning skills at an accelerated rate as they utilize equipment to create functional solutions to problems. This holistic approach to learning provides students with relevant and engaging learning experiences as they develop future-ready skills.
“This is an exciting time for education in the Indiana Uplands as we welcome four new UpLabs to this innovative network of schools working to ensure students are ready to step into a successful career path in our region,” said ROI Vice President of Talent Development Michi McClaine.
“The Indiana Uplands is a region of makers. Engaging and relevant learning in the UpLabs prepares students to achieve success by showing their learning through making. Limits are endless in UpLabs for those eager to learn new technology and use fabrication equipment available at their fingertips.”
These four schools will receive funding for lab equipment and professional development for staff and administrators to support lab implementation. Schools are currently working on lab design and equipment procurement process this fall. Administrators will also participate in professional development focused on supporting and sustaining a digital fabrication lab from a leadership lens. ROI has partnered with Tennessee-based devX to guide the process. ROI and devX partnered initially for the pilot cohort of UpLabs and devX remains a close and trusted partner in this work.
Professional development and coaching from ROI and devX will be provided throughout the 2023-24 school year. Successfully embedding digital fabrication labs in schools requires technical skills and a pedagogical framework that fosters a rich learning environment. UpLabs educators receive training throughout the implementation process, including how to integrate digital fabrication practices into academic content in a way that deepens students’ experience and understanding.
In addition to the four new UpLabs in Daviess, Dubois, Martin, and Monroe counties, ROI supports nine digital fabrication labs in schools from the original UpLabs Pilot cohort:
● Batchelor Middle School, Monroe County Community School Corporation
● Bloomfield Junior Senior High School, Bloomfield School District
● Edgewood High School, Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
● Edgewood Junior High School, Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
● Jackson Creek Middle School, Monroe County Community School Corporation
● Mitchell Junior High School, Mitchell Community Schools
● Orleans Junior Senior High School, Orleans Community Schools
● Shoals Elementary School, Shoals Community Schools
● Tri North Middle School, Monroe County Community School Corporation
“Job growth in STEM fields within the Indiana Uplands region exceeds rates of growth across the nation. ROI helps equip our schools with the tools and support necessary to ensure students can take advantage of the abundant STEM career opportunities in our 11-county region,” said ROI President and CEO Tina Peterson.
“Our students must be future-ready. Schools in the Uplands are reimagining how students learn. Embedding state-of-the-art digital fabrication labs in K-12 schools is an example of rethinking approaches to learning that prepare students for the future of work. In these labs, students learn how to be problem solvers. They learn how to collaborate and how to think critically while also honing in on their creativity and communication skills.”
To read more and see photos from the UpLabs network, visit https://regionalopportunityinc.org/digital-fabrication/
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