Students are wrapping up FAB LAB 1 this month. It has been a HUGE hit here at STEM Saratoga and students have really created some NEAT projects! Students learned about 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser cutting, laser engraving, vinyl cutting, and more! If you want your child to learn more about digital fabrication encourage them to participate in the FAB LAB program! Next year, we will be offering a FAB LAB level 2 which will introduce students to plotters, CNC mills, and much much more!!! Digital fabrication is the way of the future and FAB LAB gives students the skills with equipment and the software to be their own entrepreneurs and come up with real world solutions to real world problems!
Students are finishing up their 3D Modeling course. Students learned how to 3D Model using Autodesk Inventor Professional. Students had full access to this very unique software program through the SDW Citrix network. Students were spread out across three different levels of programming. Level one students worked through a pegboard toy design, mechanical arm design, and wooden toy project. Level two students worked through a puzzle cube design, a toy train, and a model playground. Level three students got to design one part and two part products and a woods project/ piece of furniture even. Students who really like Inventor are encouraged to take the IED course at the high school level which is a full school year of Autodesk Inventor software education.
Students are in the middle of the 3D Modeling & Design course right now. There are three different levels to the project. Students who are taking it for the first time are learning about 3D Modeling by creating the Sketch Plane Cube which teaches them how to sketch geometry, extrude geometry, and add features to a solid model. Students then move on to the Pegboard Toy design where they will create an actual pegboard with a mallet toy that could be 3D printed for a child. There are more projects they will complete after that.
Level two students designed a puzzle cube from scratch on their own! Their cube had a number of criteria they had to fall within when they designed it. Students have the option of 3D printing their cube if they are willing to pay for it upon completion. Level two students will then be spending a lot of time creating the toy train project. This is a very extensive project that has a lot of details to it.
Level three students are learning how to be inventors and entrepreneurs by designing and creating 3D models of actual products that they created and thought up. These products have set criteria for them and these students are designing cutting edge new products!
This week is the last week of STEM Pathways Rotation 2. In STEM U, we are wrapping up the first half of FAB LAB Level 1. Students who are in FAB LAB will come back to FAB LAB again to complete the course in rotation 4 of STEM Pathways. Students are NOT expected to have all course work completed by weeks end, but simply have their course work up to date.
All that means, is that they should have 12 blog entries by this Friday, December 1st, and have at least two projects done from their current unit. Students in CORE 2 have learned how to do vinyl cutting and started 3D printing and scanning. Students in CORE 3 have learned 3D printing and scanning and started laser cutting. Students in CORE 4 have learned laser cutting and are starting vinyl cutting.
Students have pumped out some really incredible projects this rotation! We have seen all sorts of things invented and innovated over the past six weeks together. Students have really embraced learning digital fabrication and have learned a lot! Students have asked, can I bring more money in for FAB LAB? The answer is always, YES! All FAB LAB extra funds can be brought to the office to Ms. Olson and placed in an envelope with your child's name and Fab Lab on it so we know what it is for, and who's account it goes into. Students are more than welcome to use their funds in the FAB LAB at ANY time over the course of the year. It does not have to be spent just during FAB LAB time.
Rotation 1 has now ended. Congrats to those students who were class champions in the dragster design race! Students designed dragsters on 3D modeling software programs Autodesk Inventor or TinkerCAD. They then 3D printed their dragster bodies and assembled their cars. We then had a race!
Students are now in rotation 2 for STEM PATHWAYS. In STEM U, we are in the beginning stages of the FAB LAB program level 1. CORE 2 is currently doing vinyl cutting and making decals, stickers, decor, and more. CORE 3 students are doing 3D printing. They are also learning about 3D scanning. CORE 4 students are learning about laser cutting and laser engraving! Students will rotate through all modules during their time in FAB LAB.
STEM U is currently offering the Science of Technology course. Students learned about chemical engineering by making ice cream. They selected proper ingredients to place into a quart sized bag, that was then placed into a gallon sized bag of 3 cups of ice. They then added table salt to lower the freezing point of the ice in the bag and experimented with mixing methods to produce their batch of ice cream. Students are currently wrapping up nanotechnology, where they created a bucky ball and created a presentation on a nano product of their choice. Starting next week we will be starting Physics where students will get to design their own dragster that will be 3D printed and entered into the class race. There are three weeks left in the class after this week before rotation two begins.
I will be offering the following courses this year at STEM Saratoga: