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Laser Cutting: Teacher PD Series Continues in the Delran Innovation & Fabrication Lab

In December, the Teacher & Staff Professional Development Series continued with a Laser Cut Ornament & Coaster workshop. The main goals of the 2019-2020 PD Series are to provide teachers with opportunities to learn in the lab and become more comfortable with digital fabrication software and machinery. The underlying long-term goal is for those same teachers to draw on their own experiences and begin to dream up ideas for bringing their students back in the future, for curriculum-enhancing experiences and projects. In order to imagine and design projects for their students, teachers themselves need to be familiar with the Lab's capabilities. The possibilities are limitless!

Registration for the Laser Cut Ornament & Coaster workshops filled up within 2 hours, prompting the decision to offer a second date of workshops. Overall, nearly 70 teachers and staff members attended the workshops, with 54% of attendees visiting the lab for the first time. Everyone reported feeling either a similar or increased comfort level in the lab as a result of this visit, and 100% of attendees would like to come back for future PD offerings.

Teachers began with a lesson on CorelDRAW, which is 2D design software, and selected ornament or coaster templates to customize. Their designs were then fabricated out of birch wood on the laser cutter. Participants were asked to rate their level of comfort with CorelDRAW software on a scale of 1 (no knowledge) through 5 (could teach others), and reported an average increase of 1.5 levels on this scale as a result of the Laser Cut workshop.

The laser cutter in action!

Teachers proudly show off their creations!

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