STEM Guitar Project Engages Teachers And Students

The Guitar Building Institute, also known as the STEM Guitar project, is regularly mentioned here on AM News because they continue to move STEM forward in exciting ways. Sinclair Community College Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Tom Singer, and his team are busy around the USA teaching educators about using guitar building to teach STEM to middle and high school students.

You can read more about their special events for U.S. Military veterans in our 2018 post: Guitar Building For Veterans In Puget Sound.

The STEM Guitar project was first awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 2008 and its first classes started in 2009. As they celebrate their first full decade in operation, more than 800 STEM educators have participated in the five day workshops held all around the USA.

According to a recent post in the SME “Humans of Manufacturing” series, in which Tom Singer was profiled, “Students across the country have designed and manufactured 10,000 guitars. STEM teachers from 40 states have either gone through a Guitar Building Institute course or have purchased guitar kits. At Sinclair, the college produces about 1,200 guitar kits a year, making it a mid-tier guitar manufacturer within the industry.”

As an active partner of the TEAMM coordination network, whose mission is to bring together a wide variety of public and private sector stakeholders (for technician education) and improve access to professional development, the STEM Guitar project aligns with and helps TEAMM to fulfill its mission. STEM Guitar, with its team of 22 faculty around the U.S., coordinates faculty training and other non-profit skill building events related to STEM, Guitars, and materials.

While it is recommended and worthwhile to attend the official STEM Guitar workshop, (the staff here at AM News has participated in and documented several of the workshops), the project website at GuitarBuilding.org is loaded with information for educators and individuals, including the complete curriculum. Joining the live workshop gives participants an opportunity to build their own guitar and learn first-hand what is needed to replicate these lessons in the classroom (hint: you need a workshop, benches, tools). The curriculum and project based learning aligns with industry soft and hard skill sets and is crosswalked to K-12 standards

If you click through to the Video area of the site, you will find details on one of the techniques that the STEM Guitar team has perfected: How To Swirl Dip Your Guitar. The “Swirl dipping guitars from down under” link leads you to a YouTube video that gives you a unique view of the process — in the barrel of water looking up into the paint. Plus, you can see some of the amazing guitar finishing (lots of Swirl Paint jobs) results from photographer James Huntington Schuelke’s Flickr profile.

Here is the direct link to the YouTube Swirl Dip Your Guitar video.

TEAMM is always excited to see the progress and success of its members, but it is tough for any organization to match the energy and enthusiasm found in training other educators and middle/high school students. If you need to spark excitement for STEM learning, head over to Tom Singer and his team at STEM Guitar for ideas and inspiration.

A Day In The Life Of Virtual Reality Workshop Participants

On day one of the 2018 Virtual Reality (VR) Workshop held in Monroe Hall at Edmonds Community College, it was all “real” and “virtual” at the same time. Educators, 14 of them in total, came from as far away as Southern California to learn how to use VR in their classrooms to teach digital manufacturing.

The workshop is the brainchild of Dr. Magesh Chandramouli who started the MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) project, based at Purdue University. It is focused on developing an affordable VR framework to address the demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians.

The two-day workshop was hosted by the TEAMM project and started out with sessions dedicated to manufacturing and a tour of Monroe Hall (which has served as the home to multiple National Science Foundation grant-funded projects including the National Resource Center for Materials Education – MatEdU).

This amazing building is the 11,000 square foot home for almost $2,000,000 of machines and tools offering a variety you won’t find on very many college campuses. It is also where The Facility, a new type of makerspace exists – that fuses college access and community access.

Here’s more of what took place on day one and day two of the VR Workshop:

  • Demos of Traditional and Digital Technologies
  • Introduction to Virtual Reality
  • Types and Uses (Google Cardboard Build)
  • Terminology
  • Opportunities (Advantages/Disadvantages)
  • Current technology and expected development (HoloLens practice)
  • Unpack and set-up VR equipment (using the Dell Visor)
  • MANEUVER website (We are creating a resource post that we believe you will find useful, stay tuned)
  • Design Opportunities in Virtual Reality
  • Case Studies: VR in a Classroom
  • How is it being used
  • What are the challenges / rewards

On day two, participants focused on a group project planning incorporation of VR into an actual lesson.

Here are photos from the event:

Additional resources:

From their website: “Project MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) is developing an affordable virtual reality (VR) framework to address the imminent demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians. Over half of the 3.5 million required manufacturing positions in the US are expected to go unfilled due to a “skills gap”. Employment projections show a decline in conventional manufacturing jobs with marked growth in DM jobs.

“This VR instructional framework, targeted at two and four year programs, will not only advance the field of DM, but will also strengthen education by remedying the lack of clearly defined career/educational pathway(s) for entry-level DM technicians.”

AM News originally reported on this workshop: Virtual Reality Workshop For Digital Manufacturing Education.

TEAMM Partners with Stratasys Education and GrabCAD for 3D Printing Challenge

For the last 14 years, Stratasys Education and GrabCAD (along with partners TEAMM and NCATC this year) have been conducting the Extreme Redesign Challenge for students around the world to make an existing design better.

You do not need a 3D printer to enter the competition and it is open for students around the world. Students can design an original piece of art, jewelry or architecture, or find a way to make an existing design better. The challenge is an opportunity to invent, innovate or improve something by re-engineering it to be printed in 3D in the annual Extreme Redesign Challenge. Participants can consider different 3D printing methodologies (FDM, SLS, SLA and PolyJet) and materials available for those methods, and then pick the best method for the production of your design.

Individual students or teams must create and submit 3D model files in .STL format with a detailed description explaining the design’s value and benefits. You can provide as many “images, renderings, relevant calculations, videos and screen shots of the design” to make your case for your design.

At press time there are 20 days left in the challenge; the Extreme Redesign Challenge entry deadline is February 26, 2018. Users must register for a GrabCAD community profile here.

Oh, lest we forget, there are cool prizes, plus full details on entry requirements from the Stratasys/GrabCAD website:

Challenge Prizes
  • Each student entrant: Receives a sheet of free tech tattoo stickers for entering.
  • Top 10 in each category: Receive a 3D printed model of their design and a Stratasys apparel item valued at up to $50.
  • 1st place winners: Receive a $2500 scholarship. Plus, their instructor will get a demo 3D printer for a limited-time classroom use.
  • 2nd place winners: Receive a $1000 scholarship.
  • NCATC School Entries: The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers will award a $1000 scholarship to one winning entry in the engineering category. Post-secondary students from NCATC member schools will be eligible for this bonus prize.
Who Can Enter the Extreme Redesign Challenge?

This category is open to students currently enrolled (in person or talking coursework online) in middle or high schools worldwide (school grades 6 through 12). Entrants under the age of 18 must have their entries submitted by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. You may enter this challenge individually, or as a design team. All team members must be enrolled as a student in an educational institution or online program during the semester/term in which they contribute to the design. The Challenge is not open to any persons employed, past or present, as a professional in 3D printing.