PHab Lab Unveiled

PHab Lab makerspace unveiled at Badger High School
Posted on 10/03/2018
PHab Lab makerspace unveiled at Badger High School

Impressive 21st century learning opportunities were unveiled at Badger High School at the official ribbon cutting event for the new PHab Lab. The event was attended by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin State Senator Stephen Nass, Mayor Tom Hartz, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction representatives and other state and local level dignitaries, but the stars of the day were the Badger students who gave impressive demonstrations of the new technology that is a growing facet of Badger culture.

The fabrication lab, or makerspace, outfitted and designed by Elkhorn-based Palmer Hamilton, hence PHab Lab, is a space for students to be inventive and collaborative. “Currently students are able to access 3D printers and a laser cutter/engraver, and soon a table-top (computer numerical control) CNC machine. Along with these components comes design space that uses programs like Tinkercad and Inventor Cloud,” said Russ Tronsen, Principal. “Also, we have collaborative space where students can network via a Google Jamboard.”

Getting a makerspace in the high school was a community effort that included advisory meetings and an unsuccessful grant attempt. After hearing of Badger’s efforts and interest, Palmer Hamilton reached out to help bring a PHab Lab to the school. “They are leading in the development of fab lab spaces in K-12 school systems,” said Tronsen. “They are based out of Elkhorn and wanted to see if Badger would sign on to be a beta site. It was a no brainer for us as we really had strong support to develop a space.” The collaboration has been successful. “We are blessed to have come to Lake Geneva (Schools) and got huge participation. We feel that we entered into this agreement as a partnership,” said John Gardner, Palmer Hamilton CEO.

The Lt. Governor touted the partnership between Palmer Hamilton and Badger as, “a movement to raise up our next generation of proud workers here in Wisconsin in a segment of our economy that continues to grow: manufacturing.”

The Badger PHab Lab is still developing. As the year progresses Badger will look to add other items into the lab. Based on student response to the current items, additional components may be added based on need and demand. “Students can benefit greatly from this space through developing innovative and entrepreneurial skills, collaboration, problem-solving, and other 21st century skills,” Tronsen stated.

The PHab Lab is becoming part of the greater culture of the Badger community and there will be opportunities for the public to utilize the space through Community Education offerings in the winter. “This is our opportunity to open our doors for all of our kids in this great area,” said James Gottinger, Superintendent of Lake Geneva Schools, “and for everybody to have the opportunity to get these experiences within our school.”


PHab Lab Ribbon Cutting

Dignitaries participants in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Badger High School’s new PHab Lab included (left to right), Rachel Harmeling, Badger Library Media Specialist, Brent Kindred, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Technology/Engineering Consultant; Gregory Herker, Palmer Hamilton PHab Lab Program Director; State Senator Stephen Nass, District 11; Dr. James Gottinger, Superintendent of Lake Geneva Schools District; John Gardner, Palmer Hamilton CEO; Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch; Lake Geneva Mayor Tom Hartz; Monica Treptow, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Library Media Education Program Consultant; and Badger High School Principal Russ Tronsen.


PHab Lab Ribbon Cutting

Badger students Mia Crawley and Graham Dearing demonstrate to Brent Kindred, Technology & Engineering Consultant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

 PHab Lab Ribbon Cutting

Badger student Michael Stewart works with Dremel company representative on the laser engraver during the recent PHab Lab Open House.

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