Wausa Community Foundation Fund grant to fund skills-building technology for local students

WAUSA — Wausa Community Foundation Fund has announced a grant to Wausa Public Schools that will give local students access to cuttingedge technology and skills-building opportunities that will benefit them long into the future. The $9,000 grant will be used to purchase four computers and a laser engraver, equipment that Industrial Technology Education teacher Bob Evans says will not only help his students develop new technical skills, but an invaluable aptitude for critical thinking and problem-solving.

As the demand for a highly trained workforce grows, educators and community leaders are working to provide local students opportunities to begin honing their skills earlier and earlier. Access to the latest and greatest technology is critical to this effort. It’s precisely why Evans also applied for an Educational Service Unit 1 grant (which he was awarded) to purchase a 3D printer for his students.

The new computers will allow students to research, design, and create one-of-a-kind items. First, students must develop their 3D drawing skills. Then they will turn their ideas in 3D graphic models, and ultimately, physical 3D items. This process will provide many new challenges for students including rapid-prototyping to industry standards.

The new laser engraver will also allow students to design and create while applying math, science and communication skills. The laser engraving process demands precision math and measurement. Best of all, these skills are mastered through hands-on application, the best way for students become proficient at new tasks and retain information.

According to Evans, “I can testify that students have mastered and applied high level math and communication skills without even being aware of their achievements. They apply the general education concepts of necessity and master them by repetition all while creating priceless individually creative masterpieces. The entire process requires high levels of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The motivation is the creation of unique items that are of professional quality.”

Providing Wausa students access to ever-improving technology is a work in progress. Evans is looking to raise an additional $60,000 for various other pieces of equipment to help meet the school’s goal of preparing students for the workforce. Even if students don’t end up in highly technical fields, Evans insists these opportunities are an advantage to all students.

“I do know that small towns and major cities can never have too many problem solvers and critical thinkers,” said Evans.

The Wausa Community Foundation would like to challenge everyone in the community to consider helping complete this vision by donating additional funds. Contact WHS and Mr. Evans for more information about donating to the Anderson Career and Technical Education Center.

Members of the Wausa Community Foundation Fund Advisory Committee say they are proud to do their part to give local students opportunities that will lead to brighter futures.

To learn more about the work of the Wausa Community Foundation Fund and to support its community-building mission, visit https://www.nebcommfound.org/give/wausa-community-foundation-fund.

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