Universal Laser Systems is known for quality, versatility and reliability. Investing in a premier, cutting edge laser cutting and engraving system is only half the battle - maintaining is a necessary component to ensure your laser is able to provide optimal performance. A robust maintenance program is a huge step toward that objective.
Rest assured - maintenance doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. Our partners at Universal Laser Systems has set out to provide a DIY guide to maintaning your laser's performance with a series of tips and suggestions written by their expert support team to help you keep your laser system in tip-top shape.
Since fine-tuning is often the key to obtaining the best quality, we want to be sure you have a mixture of the most up-to-date information and fine-tuning suggestions cultivated by our team through collective years of experience.
Check out the first installment in this series, which pertains to maintaining optics. Have a question for the ULS service team? Send them to Moss and you may be featured in an upcoming edition!
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is a favorite question for relatives to ask students at the holiday dinner table. It’s a great question – it help Aunt Sue understand which classes a student enjoys, and prompts the student to think about and articulate their plans for the future.
While students are accustomed to sharing career aspirations about jobs they are familiar with – “doctor” “firefighter” and “construction worker” -- students in Pitsco Expeditions labs may have new answers this year. That is because Pitsco is weaving in Career Connections into every Expedition, giving students exposure to exciting careers, and a context for the skills they are learning.
Introducing Junior High students to careers like Product Designers, Entrepreneurs, Materials Tester, Crime Lab Specialist, Chemists, and Architects serves a couple of purposes:
Understanding the “Real World”
When a student starts to think about what they can do after graduation, they start to look at the world around them in a different way – they look through an empowered lens with confidence. They begin to understand the role each career can play in the world around them, and how they would improve that career.
Adds Relevance to Current Lessons
When they can add relevance to an abstract concept, like why understanding math and simple circuits is a building block for a future in electronics or electrical engineering, they start to take the lesson more seriously. Students go from rote memorization to truly understanding a concept and how it applies outside of the classroom.
Students, especially at the middle level, learn so much about themselves through trial and error. Having a hand and “trying out” careers like “Concert Lighting Technicians” broadens their mindset, and helps them consider career paths they may not have previously considered. Let’s face it, we are educating students for careers that haven’t even been invented yet, so building a solid skills foundation, as well as a broad scope is important.
Transcends Economic Factors
Often, a student’s socio-economic background has an effect on the careers they are exposed to. Career connections play an invaluable role in expanding a student’s horizons.
Expeditions by Pitsco Education aim to expand and draw career connections for students. Click below for a complete list of career connections by Expedition.
You tell us: why are Career Connections so important to middle level students? How do you introduce your students to potential career paths?
Have you checked out our MimioTraining™ Quick Learn series yet? It’s a great place to find tips to enhance your lessons, learn how to integrate our products into your curriculum, and stay on top of the latest education trends. We offer a variety of sessions every month taught by Mimio Expert teachers, as well as On-Demand recorded sessions, created to help educators achieve their classroom goals.
A few of the topics covered in the MimioTraining Quick Learn series:
This is a small sample of the lessons available. Each session is taught by teachers who have succcessfully integrated this technology in their classroom, so they can provide real insight and best practices. Click below to check out these or other lesson topics.
Your turn -- share your greatest technology integration tip in the comments below!
Experts are discussing an important shift in manufacturing technology: which is more beneficial, additive or subtractive manufacturing. Let's face it - it's a crowded field, full of technologies and applications. Fictiv discusses the future of production in this blog post, and how people are choosing technology for tomorrow’s industry. In today’s maker-climate, each technology has advantages, and implications for your students.
Additive manufacturing is another term for 3D printing, and can use a variety of materials and printers. 3D printing has always been very useful for rapid prototype development, but it is starting to make its impact on the manufacturing world as well. Materials such as PLA and ABS plastics, as well as composite and metal materials improve printing. 3D printing is used as a step in the design process in companies ranging from Nike to Ford. Designers will print a prototype and use a 3D rendering to test and develop and enhance in a way that drawings can’t duplicate. Prints are faster and cheaper to produce than traditional machine tooling. The precise dimensions (often printed in color) provide a realistic model for designers and engineers to manipulate.
Subtractive manufacturing is a process by which 3D objects are constructed by successively cutting material away from a solid block of material. Subtractive manufacturing can be done by manually cutting the material but is most typically done with a CNC Machine. One of the advantages of subtractive manufacturing is the variety of materials that can be used, from wood and metal to plastics and acrylics to plasma. (Finer applications such as laser engravers work with an even wider array of materials.) CNC is widely used in manufacturing, and can be found in most facilities.
Necessary Skill Set
There is ongoing conversation about which method is more prevalent in the future of manufacturing. In reality, both have a place in 21st century manufacturing, which is why your students should be familiar with both technologies. In order for someone to comfortably use either technology, they need a solid understanding of design and CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) programs, as well as a familiarity with engineering principles so they can understand and develop using the best materials for the project. CNC operators should have a mechanical aptitude, and be able to read blueprints and drawings.
You can give students hands on experience with both additive manufacturing (3D printing) and subtractive manufacturing (CNC). Moss partners with the following companies to provide cost-effective classroom solutions:
Afinia is always looking to improve the user experience for educators, which is why they asked for your feedback, and incorporated your suggestions into the new and improved H800+. The updated 3D printer includes:
Award-Winning InnovationThe Afinia H800+ 3D printer won the RAPID 2015 Exhibitor Innovation Award, which recognizes the most innovative new products or services exhibited at RAPID that are judged to have the greatest potential impact on the industry. Afinia 3D was selected as the recipient by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) Committee.
TechZone 360 also chose the Afinia H800+ 3D Printer for their 2015 3D Printing Excellence Award, citing Afinia 3D as a leader within the 3D printing industry. The TechZone 360 3D Printing Excellence Award identifies products, services, and applications that are driving the growth and evolution of 3D Printing from niche market hype to mainstream reality.
This printer boasts the largest print surface for large-format designs, and superior print resolution to similar 3D printers on the market. Download an updated spec sheet, or contact Moss for more information.
Weigh in: will these improvements make a difference in your classroom? How will you incorporate this updated technology?
An avid fan of STEM, makerspaces, and project-based learning, Aaron Maurer shares his journey from humble beginnings to becoming a district level leader and champion for STEM Education. In this presentation, Aaron offers the audience tips and tricks, funding ideas, and potential pitfalls to look out for when creating your own STEM program.
Aaron has been in education for more than a decade teaching a variety of subjects and grade levels. Currently, he is an instructional coach for Bettendorf Middle School and mentors three robotics teams. Aaron recently launched a new engineering program called Young Engineers of Today and is a member of the Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert program. He was a finalist for the Iowa Teacher of the Year in 2014. You can find all of his work on his website, http://www.coffeeforthebrain.com/.
Watch the recorded webinar (above) and let us know what you think!
At the beginning of the academic year, you looked ahead, scheduled Professional Development days, worked hard to line up speakers and resources…. And you are noticing that participating is dwindling. Teachers are electing to stay in their classrooms to catch up on grading or reporting. Making the sessions mandatory improves this, but you haven’t had 100% participation in these sessions since early September.
As an administrator, you understand that developing your teachers is as important as supplying the correct classroom materials. Providing engaging PD sessions can have a measurable impact on teacher satisfaction (and ultimately student performance), as long as teachers are attending and benefiting from the resources you share. Teachers skip when they are over-committed with classroom duties, or don’t think the session will benefit them. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you make the most of your Professional Development time and dollars.
Making Professional Development engaging and worthwhile is a challenge most administrators face. We can help you make PD something that your teachers look forward to with Pitsco Professional Development. You don’t have to have a Pitsco STEM lab to benefit, either. No sales pitch – just great content for your teaching staff, tailored to your needs. PD sessions are standards based, so you can rest assured you are providing the right content at the right time.
Whether you are building a Makerspace of Fab Lab, you have undoubtedly considered a CNC Router. CNC technology is a key component of fabrication, but the technology is as diverse as the applications. CNC equipment is designed to route, carve, drill, and engrave in wood, plastic, foam, aluminum and other materials for a wide range of applications.
CNC routers, plasma cutters and laser equipment make it easy and exciting for educators to prepare students for the technical manufacturing jobs of tomorrow. Students understand modern manufacturing challenges, turning design concepts into reality on industry standard equipment.
Choosing a CNC Router
When choosing a CNC Router, consider the following components:
At Moss, we represent Techno CNC Systems, FANUC, and ez Router – we can provide options based on your program goals and budget considerations. Let us help you develop your FabLab or Makerspace.
Tell us – what is the single biggest consideration you have when looking at CNC Routers?
Are you looking for ideas on how to integrate 3D printing into your existing STEM curriculum? You're not alone! Project-based learning and 3D printing are pivotal avenues for teaching STEM subjects, engaging students on new levels, and preparing them for future careers. Afinia offers several 3D Printing STEM Kits, which support project-based learning in the classroom.
Each pack comes with student workbooks and a teacher’s guide to help you seamlessly integrate the projects into your curriculum.
Available STEM Kits include:
Integrating 3D printing into existing STEM programs is easy with these project-based units. Learn more - download this informational file today, or contact your Education Specialist for more information.
When business works with local high school to develop and implement certification programs, the results can have a long term impact on the community:
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the skill gap for entry level workers in advanced manufacturing is growing at a startling rate. With approximately 30% of jobs requiring technical skills and only 17% of graduates having them, you can see how alarming this trend is. High Schools like Doss High School are looking to reverse this trend by offering students the chance to earn stackable credentials that they can take with them to any job:
These core competencies, taught by Amatrol through the MSSC certification program, helps graduates feel more comfortable and confident in job placements, feel more agile and communicate more effectively. The certifications are stackable credentials recognized by business and industry, and can give students a competitive advantage when applying for manufacturing positions.
These programs are specifically designed for High Schools, and can complement core content in science, math, and other areas – which creates a win-win for schools!
Learn more: contact an Education Specialist to learn about the certification options available for your high school students.
You have questions about STEM education? You're not alone! We're here to share ideas and provide thought-provoking commentary. Let us know your thoughts!