Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 12, 2021

Hamilton County Schools partners for 15 eLabs

The Public Education Foundation has received a $1 million investment from an anonymous donor to open 15 eLabs in local public schools and to support the further development of Hamilton County Schools’ eLab network.

HCS eLabs provide students with learning opportunities in engineering, computing and environmental technology through hands-on activities with digital fabrication equipment, including 3D printing, microcomputing and robotics.

“We believe it’s essential for students to have learning experiences that will prepare them for the jobs of the future,” says Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “These additional eLabs will significantly multiply the number of students who have access to a digital fabrication lab and put them on the path to future readiness.”

HCS opened the first Fab Lab in Tennessee at STEM School Chattanooga in 2014. The eLab network in Hamilton County is now comprised of 22 school-based digital fabrication labs.

The network includes five new HCS eLabs opened through the HCS Office of Innovation and Choice in 2020 in addition to the 16 VW eLabs that resulted from a $1 million investment from Volkswagen Group of America and the State of Tennessee in 2017.

According to the Fab Foundation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hamilton County Schools has more Fab Labs than any school district in the world.

The range of topics continues to grow, as well, as teachers and leaders refine the learning in the labs. At Dalewood Middle School, students leveraged the eLab to support a student racing team that built a custom electric car, complete with a solar charging station, that has won multiple Green Prix race championships across the Southeast.

Students from Sale Creek Middle High School used their eLab to create sustainable solutions for habitats in partnership with the Chattanooga Zoo.

High school students at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences engaged in a joint project with their biology class and the eLab to 3D print scale model turbines equipped with microcontrollers and sensors to create a controllable wave tank for testing turbine designs.

To administer the anonymous donation, PEF and the HCS Office of Innovation and Choice will conduct a competitive process to select the schools to receive the new eLabs.

An open request for proposals will be available to every school in the district and a selection committee will award eLabs based on submitted proposals.

This selection process will be conducted annually, with five eLabs opening in August 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Current HCS eLab locations:

Brainerd High School

Brown Middle School

Chattanooga Center for the Creative Arts

Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences

Dalewood Middle School

East Hamilton High School

Harrison Bay Future Ready Center

Harrison Elementary School

Hixson High School

Hixson Middle School

Howard High School

Howard Connect Academy

Hunter Middle School

Loftis Middle School

Lookout Valley Middle High School

Normal Park Museum Magnet School

Ooltewah Middle School

Orchard Knob Middle School

Red Bank High School

Sale Creek Middle High School

Signal Mountain Middle High School

Soddy Daisy Middle School

STEM School Chattanooga

Source: PEF