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Teacher PD Holiday Wreath CAD and Laser Cut Centerpiece Event

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

On Tuesday, December 5, and Thursday, December 7, Delran School District Staff were feeling festive with their holiday-themed creations in the FabLab at Delran High School.

Tuesday’s session featured an introductory software class on Corel, led by teacher Paul Maraldo. Mary Jo Hutchinson, Co-Coordinator of the STEM program for the district, explained teachers expressed interest in learning more about the software after last spring’s Bear Flair workshop. Erica DeMichele, also Co-Coordinator of the STEM program, designed this event for teachers to learn. After Tuesday’s session, she and teacher Shaun Deloche spent much time running the Trotec Speedy 300 laser engraver to cut and woodburn the teachers’ designs. She noted that more intricate designs, like the starry night, take a lot of patience and effort. Deloche says each snowflake takes about 10 minutes, but simpler designs only take about 5. Hutchinson noted alignment is also an important part of the process, which she showed on the “starry night” layers – this was very delicate so they needed good quality wood to sustain intricate, delicate designs.

There were also pre-set designs for teachers to use; the class was offered to provide more customization and to learn program keybinds, added Joshua Park, 2nd year STEMbassador. 

Elaina Faux (2nd year STEMbassador) discussed how they learned Corel and the machine in their Production Design class. Students learn by building prototypes in preparation for helping their teachers. 

Iris Li (2nd year STEMbassador) also noted students in Deloche’s Honors Geometry class learn Corel and the laser engraving machine. They have many projects such as bridges and projectiles as part of their curriculum.

Many STEMbassadors were on hand to help teach their current and former teachers. Faux found it fun to help her teachers learn this process. However, the event was very collaborative, with both teachers and students lending helping hands to each other to bring their ideas to life. 

Mrs. Sue O’Leary offered her expertise at the bow table, giving a tutorial on a different style of bow. Sena Uslu (2nd year STEMbassador) also provided another bow tutorial and helped assist Ms. Sue with her demonstration as well.

The Delran Middle and High School PTA funded the wreaths, ribbon, and spray paint. The supplies were very helpful in bringing everything together. Wood glue helped attach the different layers and smaller pieces, such as wood stars or wood berries. After gluing, the decals were brought into the spray painting area. In addition to spray paint, Joshua Park and Joshua Hoffman helped teachers apply a semi-gloss clear coat to protect the wood prior to it being mounted onto the wreaths.

Once staff were ready to put it all together and add finishing touches, Olivia Messina (2nd-year STEMbassador) and Samantha Dix (4th-year STEMbassador) helped assemble wreaths with hot glue and assisted with photo opportunities. Of the wreaths they helped assemble, they are pictured with Mrs. Eileen Baker’s custom wreath.

The event brought the community together, with staff and students sharing their learning to help each other create their festive holiday designs. Thank you to the Delran Middle and High School PTA, the Delran STEM team, our STEMbassadors, and our teacher participants!

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