(BEDFORD) – The Collaboration of Shoals, Mitchell and Orleans Schools (COSMOS) recently received a $10,000 grant
from the General Motors Foundation as part of their Digital Fabrication Lab program. The program, serving students K-12 in each of the three school districts, aims at providing students with experiential learning and STEM exposure.
Helping to facilitate this grant opportunity was the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council’s Workforce Coalition team. One of the main objectives of the Coalition is to foster collaborative partnerships between business and education, especially surrounding the fields of STEM and skills relevant to local jobs.
With this program, students will use computer-controlled tools, much like those found in some of the county’s largest employers, to create functional solutions to authentic problems while developing 21st-century employability skills.
“Assisting the COSMOS team in obtaining funds for their Digital Fabrication Program directly aligns with our goal to create collaborative partnerships in the community,” says Joe Timbrook, director of career development for the LCEGC. “The high-quality, K-12 student programming coming out of this organization is the education we need for students in our community.”
Annually, COSMOS serves 3,060 students in grades K-12 with the goal of preparing students for a successful future in the 21st century economy. In addition to the student-focused goal, the consortium also aims at providing regional businesses and industries with qualified and prepared employees.
“This financial contribution will allow each district to additional emergent technologies, including advanced manufacturing and STEM equipment like 3D printers, laser cutters, and programmable microcomputers,” says Apryl Kidd, COSMOS director of initiatives. “Giving students access to a digital fabrication environment creates adaptive problem solvers who are skilled in collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. We are grateful to have this opportunity in all three COSMOS districts!”
Additionally, Apryl describes the partnership between the Workforce Coalition and COSMOS as “a catalyst in creating public-private
partnerships to enhance program authenticity for all COSMOS districts.”
More updates on this program and more are expected as the school year progresses.
About the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council:
The Lawrence County Economic Growth Council is a non-profit, local economic development organization (LEDO) existing to support growth of Lawrence County Businesses including startup support, workforce solutions, and technical assistance which promotes investment that improves the quality of life for our citizens. Learn more at www.lawrencecountygrowth.com.