The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 1:00 am

Amp Lab seeks student applicants

Electric Works to house program

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne Community Schools sophomores and juniors have less than two weeks to apply for a spot in Amp Lab at Electric Works, the district's immersive half-day program launching in August.

And the district – which filled three Amp Lab positions last week – is seeking applications for more roles, including teachers and support personnel. The school will have about 15 employees.

Amp Lab will occupy a former office building known as Building 31 on the former General Electric campus.

Riley Johnson, Amp Lab director, views the program as a place for students to collaborate and solve problems together. Rather than preparing students for one job or industry, he said, the program will give them the tools to tackle problems across a wide variety of industries.

Johnson updated the school board last week on Amp Lab, a name that pays homage to the history of the GE campus and innovative atmosphere students are likely to experience.

“We're really excited to see the energy and buzz as students learn about this opportunity, and we only continue to see it to grow as we get closer to launch in August,” Johnson said in a promotional video shown during the meeting.

Amp Lab will feature four distinct studios, Johnson said: a science research and development lab with a greenhouse, a content creators lab, a maker space and fabrication lab and a collaboration lab.

“Each studio provides access to resources that students might not have otherwise,” Johnson said. “We look at it as a playground.”

The program is appealing to a range of students, from students who have struggled in school to high academic achievers, Johnson said.

“We really are seeing that it's going to be a melting pot of our Fort Wayne Community Schools community,” he said.

Amp Lab has capacity for 400 students – 200 in the morning and 200 in the afternoon.

Each FWCS high school is allotted a specific number of spaces based on its enrollment. If a school receives fewer applicants than slots available, the remaining openings could be given to a school that had more applicants than allotted spaces, district spokeswoman Krista Stockman said.

The application window opened Jan. 10 and runs through Jan. 28. Students apply through their high school counselor. If necessary, enrollment will go to a lottery, Stockman said.

“We want to make sure students from all of our schools have an equal opportunity to attend,” she said, “but we also want to fill the spaces with students who want to be there.”

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