UPDATE: Volkswagen to open eLabs in eight additional Hamilton Co - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Volkswagen to open eLabs in eight additional Hamilton Co. schools

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UPDATE: Eight additional Hamilton County schools will receive Volkswagen eLabs.

The recipients, which were announced Tuesday, are:
•    Brainerd High School
•    Brown Middle School 
•    Center for Creative Arts
•    Hixson Middle School
•    Hixson High School
•    Ooltewah Middle School
•    Orchard Knob Middle School 
•    Soddy-Daisy Middle School

These schools represent the second round of recipients of Volkswagen eLabs. The eight schools in the first round of recipients opened their eLabs last August.

“The results of the Volkswagen eLabs have been inspiring. I look forward to seeing the additional eight labs operating and cultivating an atmosphere of learning and exploration,” Nicole Koesling, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Volkswagen Chattanooga said. “At Volkswagen, we are dedicated to the principles of education and training, and the eLabs are certainly a major piece of this, enhancing the quality of education available to young people throughout our community.”

16 Hamilton County Schools now have eLabs, which, a VW spokesperson said, fulfills VW's promise to open a total of 16 eLabs in Hamilton County over a period of two years. 

PREVIOUS STORY: German automaker Volkswagen has partnered with Hamilton County Schools to open an eLab at Sale Creek Middle High School, part of a donation of $1 million by Volkswagen Chattanooga and the State of Tennessee.

The new lab is the first of eight in Hamilton County, according to a news release.

Nearly 8,000 Hamilton County students will have access to the science labs, which feature rapid prototyping technologies such as renewable energy components, laser cutters, CNC routers, 3D printers, robotics, microcomputers, and vinyl cutters.

Sale Creek Middle/High School Volkswagen eLab was the first of the eight Hamilton County Schools selected for the first phase of installations in March of 2017. 

The other seven schools whose eLabs were operational at the start of the 2017 school year are:

  • Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences
  • Dalewood Middle School
  • East Hamilton Middle High School
  • The Howard School
  • Hunter Middle School
  • Normal Park Museum Magnet School
  • Red Bank High School

“At Volkswagen Chattanooga we hold a deep, active and ongoing belief that education, whether at university, a middle school lab or an apprenticeship on the shop floor, is crucial to a successful career,” said Ulrich Heimann, Executive Vice President of Finance & ITP Volkswagen Chattanooga. “These Volkswagen eLabs will teach hands-on, engineering-based learning, and we are excited that eight labs around the county are opening this school term to engage and inspire the imagination of children throughout the community,” Heimann said.

Each Volkswagen eLab is staffed with a Volkswagen eLabs Innovation Team to ensure utilization to the maximum capacity. The teams are made up of highly trained teachers with specialized skills in facilitating learning through digital fabrication.

The schools are each responsible for raising $5,000 annually in cash or contributed materials to ensure that the lab is continually refreshed and materials are replaced.

Hamilton County middle & high schools will be able to apply for funds in 2018 to be chosen for the remaining eight Volkswagen eLabs. By opening 16 Volkswagen eLabs over the course of the next 15 months, Hamilton County schools will lead the nation in digital fabrication in formal education settings.

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