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Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) Grant Program

Grants to Wisconsin Public School Districts and
Consortia to Support STEAM Learning Opportunities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

Deadline Date:

01/08/21 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $25,000 to Wisconsin public school districts and grants of up to $50,000 to school district consortia to support STEAM learning opportunities in PreK-12 schools. The goal of the program is to prepare students for workforce success by teaching them skills that are in high demand in the job market.

The goal of the Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) Grant Program is to support the growth of a talent pipeline in the state of Wisconsin. The program is designed to support hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education by assisting public school districts with equipment purchases used for instructional and educational purposes in fabrication laboratories in Wisconsin schools. The open Fab Lab environment enables students to learn the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century global economy. Fab Labs may also serve as a local economic development tool, providing a resource for entrepreneurs, businesses, and inventors through community access.

A fab lab is a high-technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled additive and subtractive manufacturing components, such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers and/or plasma cutters. A fully functioning fab lab has active engagement with the business community, is accessible to multiple departments within a school or schools, provides community access, and is integrated with the network of Wisconsin-based fab labs. 

Through the Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) Program, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is helping to equip public schools across the state to prepare students for the manufacturing jobs of the future. Collaboration is also a key feature of these labs, with schools throughout the country and around the world communicating to share ideas.

WEDC will provide grants to eligible Wisconsin and to consortiums of two or more public school districts, for the creation and/or expansion of fabrication laboratories within the school district(s). The funds may be used to purchase equipment used for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior, or high school students.

Equipment eligible for grant funding includes equipment necessary for the creation or expansion of a school’s fab lab in keeping with the definition given above. Equipment may include computer software required to operate the equipment, as well as installation of the equipment and necessary machine tooling. Equipment does not include any building modifications required to house the equipment, e.g., electrical, ventilation, flooring upgrades or additions

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176681

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

WEDC will provide grants of up to $25,000 to eligible Wisconsin public school districts, or up to $50,000 to consortiums of two or more public school districts.

Term of Contract:

To be counted toward grant reimbursement or match funding, expenditures must be incurred after the date the grant is awarded.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Wisconsin public school districts as defined in Wis. Stat. §115.01(3) are eligible to apply. “Public School District” means the territorial unit for school administration as defined by Wis. Stat. §115.01(3) or a tribal school as defined by Wis. Stat. §115.001(15m). In addition, either a CESA as defined in Wis. Stat. §116.01 or a lead public school district may apply on behalf of a consortium of two or more public school districts.

During FY21, WEDC is continuing a moratorium on applicants who have already received three Fab Lab grants. This does not apply to Milwaukee Public Schools or if an applicant is seeking a one-time grant to establish a Fab Lab for use by K-8 students.

Activities ineligible for grant assistance or match include, but are not limited to:
- Past costs
- In-kind contributions
- Indirect construction costs (a.k.a. “soft” costs)
- Supplies

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted following the directions provided by WEDC’s regional director by Jan. 8, 2021. The deadline is no later than 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2021.

How to Apply: Applicants should work directly with the WEDC regional economic development director for the region where the school district is located. The regional director will provide access to the Fab Labs Grant application to eligible applicants. Completed applications must be submitted following the directions provided by a regional director

School districts are allowed to submit only one application per round. Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss project options with their district administration to ensure that only one application is developed for the district.

Applicants must match 50% of the grant amount requested from WEDC.

Applicants may only be awarded one grant per cycle.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The application form can be found on the right side of the URL for Full Text below.

For program details and questions, please contact:
Ann Hyra
Project Coordinator
Business and Community Development

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin

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