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New Tech Lab Opened at Prescott High School

As technology continues to advance so will the needs within our workforce. Educational institutions will need to move at a fast pace to keep up with the innovations in technology to teach students the skills they need to be competitive and current. Through the innovative thinking of Robyn Bryce, Media Productions Teacher and Technology Integration Specialist and initial funding by the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), Prescott High School launched “The Lab.”

The Lab will serve to provide skills to students pursuing a degree and career in Media, Engineering, business and entrepreneurship to name a few. It currently boasts a green screen, sound booth, virtual reality, a drone, robotic arm, 3D printers, vinyl printer and cutter, heat press and computer design center. Students will learn the skills to not only operate these machines, but collaboratively create tangible goods. These “goods” will be made from ideas that will move to prototype and eventually to market. Business concepts of marketing, economics, and costing will be learned and experienced. Media skills of film, sound and digital enhancements will be gained. Engineering skills of design and prototyping. These are just the tip of the iceberg of what can be gained by our students from this Lab.

“I thought of the coolest gear that I could put in there to provide an experience for students and teachers and to build a production studio for the district to make the merch that PUSD teams and organizations wear and sell.” Robyn Bryce shares her initial vision, “Now having built it I see what more I still want in that creative media and modern manufacturing space. I am excited about the potential of growth for this space and what it offers and am looking forward to this lab sparking the spread of more of a STEM philosophy throughout PHS classrooms and in our community. Through partnerships with community businesses and organizations, it is my hope that students will obtain internships and even paid jobs where they can continue to build skills and relationships and offer them roots in Prescott, retaining an educated and motivated workforce to strengthen our community.”

As technology begins to take over through automated processes, the market will still be in need of those individuals with critical thinking and strong communication skills in addition to having strong experiences to work collaboratively, to problem solve and think creatively to enhance and evolve products and systems. The Lab will provide such an environment to gain these skills and experiences. Bryce adds, “I see the value in trying and experimenting. I have become more comfortable with a student-led classroom setting”.

Teachers will also have access to the lab to help enhance teaching in their classrooms. Think about taking the class to The Lab to experience walking on the moon using Virtual Reality or visiting a different time and place like the Great Wall of China. Through additional sensory experiences, students will gain a greater comprehension of the curriculum in addition to providing an additional “teaching tool” to teachers.

Through it’s 2019 grant cycle, the JCF provided the funding for the Lab. “Education has always been of great importance to the Jewish culture as in many others. The JCF loved the concept and was inspired by Robyn Bryce’s enthusiasm and vision. This will not only provide students with a leg up to compete and continue into a 2 or 4-year degree beyond PHS but will provide those not pursuing additional education the current skills needed to gain viable, current jobs where they can support themselves and a family. The impact that this will make on our community in education will be significant.” noted Christine Resnick, Executive Director of the JCF.