College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Alumnus supports fabrication lab for young engineers

Mahtomedi High School will be the first high school in Minnesota to have a digital fabrication lab.

Fab labs are state-of-the-art workshops that offer a wide array of high-tech tools like three-dimensional printers and milling machines for designing and manufacturing almost anything.

The lab, which is scheduled to open this fall, is part of a $15 million remodel at the high school. But to make it happen, donors are shelling out more than $200,000 for the equipment, part of the lab director’s salary and teacher training. There will also be two mini-fab labs – one at the middle school and another at O.H. Anderson Elementary.

Community members came out in force to support the lab. It took just 10 minutes at the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation’s annual spring gala to raise $70,000 for the project.

Dale Johnson (BSME’60), a retired 3M engineer and Mahtomedi resident, said the reason people are behind the program is clear.

“The ‘why’ is making sure our kids are college-ready. We’re looking at making people who are ready to go out and create jobs,” Johnson said. “Hands-on projects get kids excited. And if they’re excited, they’re learning.”

Read the full story.

Innovate article about Dale Johnson’s involvement with Mahtomedi schools.