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Hixson Middle opens VW E-Lab!

Hixson Middle opens VW E-Lab!
Posted on 08/21/2018

Governor Haslam joins local partners to open VW eLabs

Posted on 08/21/2018

Governor Bill Haslam, Mayor Jim Coppinger, and Mayor Andy Berke joined with students, parents and community leaders to cut the ribbon to open the new VW eLab at Hixson Middle School. Hixson Middle was one of eight new VW eLabs opened this school year in Hamilton County Schools. The other VW eLabs are located at Brainerd High, Brown Middle, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Hixson High, Ooltewah Middle, Orchard Knob Middle and Soddy Daisy Middle.

The Hixson Middle VW eLab is representative of eight the additional VW eLabs at schools in Hamilton County Schools opening this year to give more students access to new high tech digital fabrication. The ribbon cutting at Hixson Middle is the second round of Volkswagen eLabs to be funded by a partnership between Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations and the state of Tennessee. The Hixson eLab and the other seven locations are part of a Volkswagen eLabs initiative to provide students with access to digital fabrication tools including automated manufacturing equipment, programmable microcomputers, renewable energy kits, 3D printers, robotics, and laser cutters that will empower the young learners to engage in authentic problem-solving. 

The addition of the eight new eLabs was the second round of VW eLabs awarded to schools in Hamilton County as a result of a $1 million donation by Volkswagen Chattanooga and the state of Tennessee to fund the program. With the opening of the first eight VW eLabs last year there are now a total of 16 eLabs in Hamilton County Schools helping to prepare children for the future. 

In the labs, students are designing and 3D printing orthopedic devices for people and pets with special needs, conducting research on the viability of autonomous electric vehicles and taking salvaged parts from a computer to build a robot. Seven labs successfully launched student-run entrepreneurial ventures to run a classroom-based business. 

“The Volkswagen eLabs have created excitement for learning, and you can see that in the eyes of the children in the labs,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “These labs open a new world of possibilities in instruction for teachers and prepare students to be future ready.”

Training of teachers and resources are key, and the Public Education Foundation plays an important role in the partnership by providing training, research, and resources to teachers, principals, and schools. 

Photo: Students, teachers, and administrators from Hixson Middle join visiting dignitaries including Governor Haslam to cut the ribbon opening the new VW eLab.

 

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