Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools awards $100,000 grant to create Emerging Technologies Lab at Eden Prairie High School

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN (April 8, 2024) – Eden Prairie Schools Superintendent Dr. Josh Swanson will accept a $100,000 Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools (FEPS) grant at the foundation’s Red & Black Gala, held at Bearpath Golf and Country Club on April 12. The grant will be used to create an Emerging Technologies Lab at Eden Prairie High School.

Designed to be an ever-evolving space for authentic, hands-on learning opportunities, the Emerging Technologies Lab will be located inside of the high school’s Innovation Sandbox and benefit thousands of students, staff members and partners each year. When it opens in fall 2024, the Lab will feature:

  • Space for all students and staff to experiment with emerging technologies, like virtual reality and robotics.
  • High performance computing subscriptions, which can process, store and analyze quadrillions of data calculations per second for use in artificial intelligence and other technologies.
  • A large language model (LLM), a type of artificial intelligence bot, that teachers can use to enhance lesson plans. The LLM is called EP TA (for “Eden Prairie Teacher’s Assistant”) and is being developed by Eden Prairie Schools leaders.
  • Community events that convene technology leaders from across the area for showcases and guest instruction.

Each tool will be selected with input from the district’s Artificial Intelligence Committee, which includes teachers, technology department leaders, community members and studentsThe space will also be home to high school-level courses centered on emerging technologies, including the iOS App Development and Public Policy and Artificial Intelligence Capstones. In coming years, technology within the space will continue to evolve to reflect industry trends and empower students to leverage technological advancements for innovation and success.

“The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools is thrilled to award this $100,000 grant in celebration of the district’s 100 years,” said Dr. Lisa Sisinni, Executive Director of the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools. “We see the impact technology has on the ability to teach and learn and are excited to be a part of this innovative concept that has the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape. We are honored to know that this grant will support thousands of students for years to come.”

“Eden Prairie Schools is deeply grateful to FEPS for this investment in our staff, students and community,” said Swanson. “Our mission centers on inspiring each student every day so they can contribute purposefully to our ever-changing world, and technology will continue to be a powerful force driving that change. Even as this grant celebrates the district’s first 100 years, it positions our students and staff to be leaders as we look to the next 100.”

The district will break ground on the Innovation Sandbox, which will house the Emerging Technologies Lab, in June. The space will open at the beginning of the 2024-25 school year.

“This work is never done,” said Dr. Sisinni. “We are humbled by our generous donors who continue to entrust FEPS with their charitable gifts, and the innovative champions in our district who never stop pushing for excellence.”