Volkswagen Chattanooga recently announced which other Hamilton County schools will receive eLabs. (Photo: Staff)

Volkswagen Chattanooga recently announced which eight Hamilton County schools will receive digital fabrication equipment as part of the company’s eLabs initiative.

The eight schools that will receive this equipment are:

  • Brainerd High School
  • Brown Middle School
  • Center for the Creative Arts
  • Hixson Middle School
  • Hixson High School
  • Ooltewah Middle School
  • Orchard Knob Middle School
  • Soddy-Daisy Middle School

The initiative, which aims to build problem-solving skills, provides students with access to digital fabrication tools such as automated manufacturing equipment, programmable microcomputers, renewable energy kits, 3-D printers, robotics, laser cutters and other emerging technology.

Volkswagen eLabs are the result of a $1 million donation from Volkswagen Chattanooga and the state of Tennessee.

These eight schools are part of the second round of recipients for the Volkswagen eLabs, which fulfills Volkswagen’s plan to open 16 eLabs in Hamilton County schools over a two-year period.

The first eight were announced in August. Representatives from Volkswagen Chattanooga, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Hamilton County Department of Education, the Public Education Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development picked the schools after visits to each.

Since the first eLabs were installed, more than 1,500 students have been able to use them to explore STEM fields, teachers have logged more than 4,000 hours of training, and 88 percent of teachers have seen an increase in student engagement with other classes.

“The Volkswagen eLabs have created an excitement for learning, and you can see that in the eyes of the children who have the opportunity to utilize them,” HCDE Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson said in a prepared statement. “These labs open a new world of possibilities in instruction for teachers and prepare students for the world they will live in tomorrow.”