'We keep expanding,' Winnipeg school brews up plans for new lab

Students and faculty at alternative school, Maples Met are selling coffee to raise money for a fabrication lab.

A new coffee selling initiative from a Winnipeg alternative school launched this week

Jenny Vo, a Grade 9 student, works on a project at Red River College. (Supplied)

Students at a local alternative school are looking to coffee for a boost — even though they don't plan to drink it.

Students and faculty at Maples Met are selling coffee to raise funds to develop a fabrication lab where students have tools to create and work in various mediums, including wood, metal, or 3D prints, said Matt Henderson, the school's principal.

"We just need a space that's safe for [students], where they have experts working with them, Henderson said.  

"It would be good to do it in-house, so students have the space to kind of do something in the moment, they have the equipment to do that right there."

The school, which has 120 students, operates on a model that personalizes education and gives students internships and mentors in the community.

Grade 10 student Justin Panoy puts the finishing touches on dentures at Minuk Denture Clinic. (Supplied)

"We keep expanding and that's part of the reason why we need to create a little bit more creative space so that students aren't bumping into each other," Henderson said.  

Students at Maples Met work on a variety of projects, from writing books on the province's invasive species, to building instruments from scratch. Right now, Henderson said, students are often going to other spaces to work on projects.

"If you think about what adults are doing in the real world, that's what our students are doing," he said.  

The school will be selling Kicking Horse Coffee to raise money for the lab, which Henderson said organizers hope will also be used by other community groups.

Met students develop basic skills through the School’s robotics club. (Supplied )

"We want [the fabrication lab] to be for the whole school division, and also for the whole community surrounding the Met," Henderson said.  

"We're excited about this, we have to demonstrate to the community that we're serious about this." 

The coffee selling initiative launched this week, and will be running until January 31. The coffee is available to order from the school, which is housed in Maples Collegiate.