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• Puzzles: Lasers can both cut and engrave. Students can take a favorite piece of artwork or a personal drawing and engrave it onto a thin piece of plywood, perhaps one-eighth of an inch thick. They can then use their engraving as a jigsaw template to cut out the pieces of a puzzle. electricity labs for middle school Several free, ready-made templates are also available online.

• Cutting boards: Kids can make engraved cutting boards as gifts or for themselves, and they also make great additions to the school’s cooking classroom. Tape can mask areas to keep over-burn and ash dust off of the non-engraved portions. Tip: Choose lighter, unstreaked wood to start; it develops a dark and deep burn when etched, providing well-defined marks for optimal visibility.

• Cork coasters: Cork is lightweight, rot-resistant and even fire-resistant in its natural state. It is also impermeable, soft, buoyant and durable. Using a laser to engrave patterns such as star constellations, mathematical symbols or chemical models can reinforce subject matter addressed in other classes. Lasers engrave cork with excellent contrast.

• Clocks: Clocks possess great sentimental value. As gifts, they have traditionally served to recognize years of service. Clocks are a bit more complicated to make than puzzles, but they are far from impossible. Drawing programs such as Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop can be used to create artwork; clock face vector images are readily available online. Mini quartz hardware can be purchased at nearly any craft supply store, and is easy to add after engraving is complete.

• Bamboo bookmarks: Yes, students still read books. Bookmarks are a practical, everyday item. Bamboo is a popular bookmark material, as is cherry, although any hardwood will work. Leather is also a popular material for this application. Laser-cut bookmarks are generally thin – about one-eighth of an inch or less — and can be monogramed or engraved with a pattern.

The program, available to 100 students through the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) partnership, is offered free to any high school in the state that requests it. It provides online AP classes in calculus, biology, statistics and English. Nedrose sophomore Megan Sutter and senior Mindee Boyce are both participating in the program, taking AP biology. gas pain Sutter says she likes the class because it lets students work at their own pace. Boyce, who hopes to pursue a career in agronomy, signed up for the course as soon as she heard it was available.

Thanks to funding from the North Dakota State Legislature, each North Dakota high school student can take one AP exam free of charge, or up to four exams free if the student is from a low income family. Students who pass an AP exam have the opportunity to earn college credit, saving money on future college tuition. Students who complete the courses and earn a 3 or higher on each course’s AP exam will also receive a $100 award from the NMSI.

A new report titled Girls, STEM and Careers: Decoding Girls’ Futures in an Age of Social Media shows that what drives girls’ lack of representation in these fields is their waning confidence in science, technology, engineering and math as they get older. The report is based on a survey of more than 10,000 girls in the United States conducted by Ohio-based nonprofit Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX).

The mission of ROX is to create generations of confident girls who can control their own relationships, experiences and decisions. In an article in the Cincinnati Business Courier, Dr. Lisa Hinkelman, ROX Founder and Executive Director and principal researcher of The Girls’ Index, said, “When fifty percent of high school girls report that they are considering a career in a math and/or science field, we celebrate this as a sign that the national efforts to increase girls’ interest in the STEM fields is having a positive impact. However, when nearly the same percentage of girls do not believe they are smart enough for their dream job, we recognize that we need to augment our efforts to support girls personally and academically."

Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, chimed in on the report findings during an International Day of the Girl celebration at the company’s Mountain View, California, offices this year, saying, “The revelations contained in this research study effectively reframe the conversation and highlight the opportunities ahead as we empower the next generation of women leaders to take their seat at the table. In a world where an understanding of STEM is quickly becoming table stakes, building confidence and capability in girls that their contributions measure up and matter is critical to their individual and our collective success. At Intuit, we have benefited greatly from talented women leading our company at every level, from the board room to our front lines, and we are champions of the important work that Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) is driving to increase the pipeline of interested and capable girls in pursuit of their dreams.”

Just as they are in makerspaces and fab labs, laser cutters are one of the most versatile tools one can have in a classroom. They can cut patterns or pieces for final assembly; they can cut through a range of materials with high precision; and they are easy to use. electricity 4th grade All of those qualities rolled into one piece of technology make the laser cutter a very powerful piece of equipment — and a great investment for schools, businesses and entrepreneurs alike. When first starting out, here are a few tips to bear in mind:

• Select your materials carefully.
A laser cutter uses a laser beam that is fired to allow any shape or design to be cut out of a flat piece of material; possibilities include plastic, wood, fabric, leather and more. Lasers are able to penetrate hard and thick materials that traditional drag-knife devices, such as craft cutters and vinyl cutters, cannot. There are, however, some materials that are not recommended for use with a laser — such as anything containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This material is not only very messy to engrave or cut on a laser, but can also release a corrosive gas that is harmful to both the inner workings of the laser system and the laser operator. If you’re ever unsure whether a material includes PVC as one of its components, you can request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) from the manufacturer. Most other materials are laser compatible, but flare-ups can occasionally happen, especially when cutting acrylics. That’s why it’s of paramount importance never to leave the laser unattended.

• Take safety seriously. While even elementary schoolchildren can use laser cutters when properly supervised, it’s important to remember that these are tools, not toys. Filtration systems are needed, because the fumes and dust caused by etching can be toxic. Fire extinguishers are also recommended to combat flare-ups. Epilog recommends a Halotron fire extinguisher or a multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher. Of these two options, the Halotron extinguisher is more expensive option, but offers advantages such as the discharge of a clean, easily removable substance that is not harmful to the mechanics or wiring of the laser system. The dry chemical extinguisher, by contrast, discharges a sticky, corrosive powder that can be very difficult to clean up.

• Create a plan to guide your equipment choices. electricity lessons ks1 Having a solid understanding of your needs and a business purpose outline will allow you not only to create a great budget proposal for buying or leasing a laser cutter — it will also guide you in selecting the best model. System cost is determined by factors such as motor type (stepper or servo); engraving table size; and laser wattage, which ranges from 30 watts to 120 watts. An entry-level cutter might have an engraving bed measuring 16 in x 12 in, which could be ideal for a classroom or startup; a new, entry-level 30 watt system costs less than $8,000. An enterprise-size business, by contrast, may need machinery on the opposite side of the spectrum — with features such as a 40 in x 28 in engraving bed, 120 watts of power and a price tag closer to $42,000.

Middle school teachers who are fortunate enough to have laser cutting machinery at their disposal are faced with figuring out how to incorporate the technology into meaningful lessons. Far beyond personalized engraved trinkets, laser systems can teach children skills that will benefit them in high school (and beyond), including organization and preparation. In addition, laser cutters let young adolescents use creativity while learning science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

Objective: Learn about different cultures through their folk art. Paper cutting is a popular art form for many cultures. For example, in China, paper cutting expresses moral principles, philosophies and aesthetic ideals. In Switzerland, the art of Scherenschnitt (which translates to "scissor cuts" in German) tells stories in silhouette; early designs featured landscapes of cows, goats and herdsmen moving the animals up to the mountain pastures and back. Polish papercutting, called Wycinanki, was traditionally done using sheep shears because they were often the only cutting instruments available.

Objective: Understand and apply the Pythagorean theorem. (This lesson meets Common Core Standards for Geometry.) Students can have fun with geometry by reviewing some of the elaborate wooden marquetry work done on old floors. The laser can cut these geometric shapes in wood veneers, to be assembled and glued into a tile that has practical value as a trivet, and students use the Pythagorean theorem to measure, cut and fit together the triangular pieces.

Objective: Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events or character types from myths or traditional stories. (This lesson meets Common Core Standards for Literature .) Laser cutters can be used to create all types of costumes, allowing students to “dress the part” when reading plays or novels aloud in class. Acting out in this way helps the text come alive. For instance, Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” could be enhanced with the addition of a laser-cut bird costume .

Objective: Demonstrate simple engineering principles by building model bridges. Students can cut arches, trusses, brackets and other parts, and measure the load-bearing characteristics while learning about building prototypes. Models of various bridge types are cut by scanning diagrams and tracing them. electricity for dummies amazon A contest will determine which student or team model can bear the most weight before collapsing.

Using hands-on instruction, educators foster the 21st century skills that students need to be successful: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Hands-on learning helps students retain information and allows them to feel the satisfaction of creation. Laser cutters help reinforce mathematical principles in every project created regardless of discipline. The happy byproduct is leaving students with a tangible sense of accomplishment.