Les Paul and the electric guitar go hand in hand but at the middle school bearing his name in Waukesha, they’re hoping his legacy will help inspire the next Wizard of Waukesha.
The school opened the Les Paul Garage at Les Paul Middle School on Friday. It won’t focus on music as much as Paul’s innovative mind that helped him create such inventions as the electric guitar.
Paul invented his most famous creation in his garage. Those at the school are hoping this makeshift garage will allow the creative juices to flow for students.
“I love it,” Anthony Lorincz, an 8th grader said. “It’s so cool to just look around and see all the good things in this room to build everything in here.”
“This garage is amazing,” Caden Combs, another 8th grader said. “It’s my last year here. I wish I was in 6th grade because I have all these ideas.”
The students are learning all about coding and 3D printing among other STEM activities. So while Paul is most famous for his musical endeavors, the idea of spurring the next generation into creative, thought-provoking scientific fields is what he was all about.
“Les Paul was an innovator,” Lee Hansen, a science teacher said. “Our kids here at school knew Les Paul as the guitar player but we often remind them, he’s one of the only people in the Inventor’s Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”
“This is an aspect Les would be over the moon about,” Michael Braunstein, Executive Director for the Les Paul Foundation said.
Inside the garage, it looks more like the students are playing but rest assured, they’re doing plenty of learning as well.
“No one necessarily comes and is like, oh yay for school!” Audrey Mieska, an 8th grader said. “[But] they’re like, oh something new. Something cool that could help us later in life. They’re totally ready. I have so many people who want to do robotics club.”