Laptops, circular saws, and laser cutting stations are in full swing at Lane Tech High School’s Innovation and Creation Lab in room 134. With the help of digital manufacturing equipment, such as 3D printers and carvers, teacher Jeff Solin, is teaching his students that learning isn’t just about getting the right answer. Designing and creating without a fear of failing or not getting the answer correct the first time is what is important. That is something at Beyond Design, we love to teach our interns and those who visit our studio on a regular basis. Coming up with an idea and exploring how to turn that idea into a reality is what we value.
Solin explains that a big part of his class relies on failure, learning, and repetition and Lane Tech students love that aspect. Creating things from your imagination and encountering those problems and facing them head on is part of the design process. This is the first year for the lab and the class and incorporating a software-driven 3D printer to his computer science classes would be an interesting addition. Lane Tech is in full support of the program and Solin spent the last half of the school year creating a curriculum based around the equipment that was ordered.
Following instruction is a part of the classroom setting, however, Solin’s teaching methods are a bit different. He noticed one of his students was doing something off the beaten path with tools, and completely changed the direction of his lesson plan. The one thing that he does enforce is that students need to make their way around the different machines and equipment that is offered – laser cutters and 3D printers, cutters, and scanners.
Currently, Lane Tech offers three sections of this class with a total of 90 students. In the next year, they foresee it growing to 120 students, with another section being added. To read more on this article, please click here.