MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 5, 2013

$47.5M bond to bring tech to MPS students

Bond will not increase taxes; voters to cast ballots May 14

(Continued)

High tech lab for school, community

Other technology that will be funded includes equipment for a “Fab Lab,” Garde said.

The Fab Lab concept originated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“It’s about building prototypes, and the future for that in technology is huge because they believe someday they’ll be able to build hearts with a 3-D printer,” he said.

The district already has some of the equipment in place to create the lab, such as a plasma cutter, but will seek to purchase the newest 3-D printer technology, he said.

Students of all ages will have access to the lab and Garde said he’s hopeful the district will be able to find a way to staff it outside of school hours for use by members of the community, such as engineers, inventors, college students and more.

And Garde said a potential cooperative agreement with the Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa will help the district with training on the equipment.

The Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa is a non-profit entity that has collaborated with MIT to assemble a diverse collection of state-of-the-art equipment and computers into one workspace as a community center for innovation, and STEM education, according to its website.

The Fab Lab will be in existing space in G Unit at the high school, he said.

Bond to fund space for new medical program

There will also be a new biomedical classroom for a new medical field program.

Coach and science teacher Curt Denton will be starting a new track of classes for students interested in pursuing a medical career, Garde said.

An existing area will be turned into a biomedical classroom for Denton’s courses, which Denton said will help any student interested in a multitude of medical careers be prepared for college.

Denton said the first-year course will feature an imaginary “patient” who has died the class will study in depth.

“We’ll study that patient and determine what caused his or her death, study what they could have changed in their life to extend their longevity, look at hereditary diseases versus those that are self-imposed — that whole realm,” he said.

The biomedical program will be a four-year study program with a capstone project during the senior year.

“I think it will help with their scholarship applications too,” Denton said. “It will also really prepare them for the courses they’ll take in college in any kind of science.”

Denton said he’s been writing grants for equipment and he’ll continue to pursue any financial opportunities he can find for the program.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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