Chevron gives $1.2 M to Jackson County schools for state’s first ‘Fab Lab’

Chevron gave over a million dollars Monday to help Jackson County students increase STEM knowledge and skills.

The energy giant donated $1.2 million to the school district as part of its Fab Foundation, an educational outreach program that merges physical science and computer science in the development of new technology.

Students will work and learn in a specially-designed laboratory called a “Fab Lab” within the school district.

Laboratories consist of equipment like laser cutters and 3-D printers, machinery for creating circuit boards and precision parts, and programming tools.

“This is a gamechanger for our kids and our community,” Jackson County Superintendent Barry Amacker said.

“This allows the students to explore and be creative, and actually make an idea come to life.”

The lab will eventually be housed in a shopfront a couple blocks south of the high school on Mississippi 57. Amacker said renovation should be completed by November or December.

The school district’s Fab Lab will be the first one in the state, Chevron Refinery General Manager Bruce Chinn said.

“This program creates an opportunity for students to learn engineering and design skills that build a foundation for math and science down the road,” he said.

Students will have access to a mobile lab that features many of the Fab Lab components this summer, Amacker said.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory