Three new labs have opened in the south metro. Students are learning to ‘build their own future.’
At Valley Middle School in Apple Valley, an eighth-grade project had students connect syringes to plastic, wood and cardboard parts they created themselves, making a mechanical arm that could pick things up using the principles of hydraulics.
At Prior Lake High School, 75 students are enrolled in a team-taught business and industrial tech class where they actually manufacture the products they want to sell.
At Apple Valley High School, students will be able to create everything from trophies to sports equipment — and will even design and build tables and cabinets for their brand new lab, opening this February.
Among metro area schools, fabrication laboratories — “Fab Labs” — are growing in popularity. The labs are places where students can create anything they dream up, using high-tech machines such as vinyl cutters, 3-D printers, laser engravers and “CNC routers,” meaning computer-controlled cutting machines.