C-T STEM program featured at conferenceAdministrators and school board members shown what one small Minnesota school can create
C-T STEM program featured at conference
Campbell-Tintah students were guests of RedEye On Demand/RedEye Rapid Prototyping in Eden Prairie, Minn. From Left to Right: Alexandra Davis, Brandon Meyer, Richard Osman, Thomas Mobraten, TyeJensen and Samantha Mobraten with a ‘Star Wars’ computer animation model made by RedEye staff.
3-D Printer – Laser Engraver – Welding Simulator
3-D Printer Is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.
Laser Engraver is the practice of using lasers to engrave or mark an object. The technique does not involve the use of inks, nor does it involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out.
A welding simulator features a welding helmet retrofit to display a virtual-reality environment, with an ultra-realistic hand piece enabled by stepper motors to bring the shop floor welding experience to the classroom.
Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 20143:00 pm
Campbell-Tintah Public School’s STEM modules program was featured during the Minnesota Schools Boards Association annual leadership conference held Jan. 16 in Minneapolis.
Five students in the program attended and demonstrated three of the 15 modules available to their class — a 3-D printer, laser engraver and welding simulator — during the event’s show and tell presentation.
The conference draws approximately 2,000 school board members, administrators and others each year. The show and tell event gives an opportunity for attendees to learn more about innovative programs from across Minnesota.
Lexi Davis, sophomore, said the`school brought several technologies with them to the conference and gave demonstrations.
“We showed things we’ve been working on, things we’ve made, with the vinyl cutters, laser engravers and others,”Davis said. “People asked us questions and could try the machines out.”
Tye Jensen, junior, explained theSTEM class students get new modules every six weeks, and make different projects for the school and students.
“We made vinyls for the school, or can engrave names on blocks of wood,” he said.
Jensen said his favorite part of the conference was interacting with people, “Showing people stuff they didn’t know about, that no other school had,” he said.
One of the machines students demonstrated was a virtual welder, which uses computer simulation to “weld”pieces of plastic. The computer records the user’s progress.
Richard Osman, business education,technology and high-tech instructor at Campbell-Tintah and chaperone for the trip, said the machine is a safe way for students to learn how to weld, it’s less intimidating than the real thing.
“You can bring it into the classroom, and there’s no worry of fire,” he said. “It’s been fun to watch thegirls enjoy it. That’s what’s so cool about this program. We’re trying to expose them to different things, and eventually they’ll find their strengths.”
Sam Mobraten, a senior, said she had a great time at the conference, seeing technology she had never seen before.
“It was really cool,” she said.
Osman and the students also toured the RedEye On Demand/RedEye Rapid Prototyping facility in Eden Prairie, Minn.,which manufactures the 3-D printing machines.
The students learned that Rapid Proto typing is a common name given to a variety of technologies that are used to create three-dimensional prototypes directly from CAD files or digitally-scanned data. The technologies create models of material in thin layers. The technologies offer advantages in many applications compared to subtractive fabrication methods such as milling or turning, Osman explained.
He said his students all commented on having a greater understanding and awareness of how the academic skills they learn in a classroom have a carryover into some of the technical and vocational occupations.
During their day-long tour, students saw cutting-edge use for prototyping and 3D technologies including architecture models, automotive parts for future car models, miniature models of mechanical devices and most interestingly, articulating human body parts.
Mobraten said the manufacturing plant was impressive, and the Red Eye staff gave C-T students a model to takehome, which they had been admiring.
The STEM modules are rotated every six weeks, and Campbell-Tintah often has two or three at once. The units areused in the STEM class but other academic areas, particularly science and math,have modules that are integrated into their course work, Osman said.
Davis and Mobraten both said attending the conference and touring the plant completely changed theiropinions of technology and engineering.
“When I joined this class, I thought we’d get to make fun projects and it’s not that important,” she said of theSTEM elective class. “After the convention, I saw it’s not only fun but I canlearn a lot and the technology is in a lot of different jobs.”
The Campbell-Tintah School Districtis a member of the Southeast High Tech Consortium made up of 21 southeast NorthDakota schools and Campbell-Tintah, which have the common goal of utilizing technology-related instructional equipment to enhance instruction in the areasof science, technology, math and career/technical education, he explained.
The consortium has more than$750,000 of equipment that’s used on a shared basis by instructors at the member schools. A $3,000 annual consortium membership makes the sharing of resources possible. The equipment allows teachers and schools to tie into the nation wide STEM initiative at a reasonable cost, without extensive front-end preparation and capital outlays. Educators, business leaders, scientists and policy makers are paying close attention to STEM programming because of the need to improve math and science performance, and increase the number of students in the United States pursuing an education in engineering.
C-T Superintendent Wayne Olson said the student awareness of highly-skilled technical abilities may help students make more appropriate post-secondary choices.
“If you can have a positive hands-onexperience with some of these modules, I think you will have a much greaterinterest in that occupation, than if you just viewed a course description in acollege catalog,” he said.