Last week Santana High School students viewed a video greeting from champion NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, announcing that their school had been selected to receive a $77,195 grant to create a new digital fabrication lab.
Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grants were awarded to ten schools in and around Chandra and Jimmie Johnson’s respective hometowns of Muskogee, Okla., and El Cajon, Calif., and where they currently reside in Charlotte, N.C., totaling nearly $600,000. This brings the contributions of the Champions Grant program to more than $2.6 million.
“Chandra and I are excited by the opportunity to impact thousands of children each year through the Champions Grant program,” said Jimmie Johnson. “It was amazing to see how the schools had such different needs, and they were all compelling. We are very proud to partner with our friends at Lowe’s to play a part in assisting K-12 public education through this program.”
Funded projects across the nation ranged from a digital fabrication lab to fitness labs to a complete performing arts stage restoration, and new computers.
The digital fabrication lab to be created at Santana is essentially a modern means for invention, a device or series of devices that use computer-controlled tools to turn digital designs into physical objects. Something students can learn from and use to create things in a hands-on lab. The school could even create a racecar for Jimmie Johnson if they really wanted to.
The grant offers an expansion to the school's Career Technical Education program which was last year. Students participating in the school’s CTE program have access to modern equipment and tools used in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields they are studying.
This could be a further boost to Santana engineering students who won numerous competitions this year, including the First Robotics and Chevron Design competitions.
In addition to the video message, each grant recipient received a custom 2012 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grant wallhauler to display. The wallhaulers, which are authentic aluminum race car doors, were provided by The Real Art of Racing.