New Glowforge Laser Cutter Allows Kootenay Lake Students to Create

They waited patiently for their turn to try out the new Glowforge Laser Cutter, a new tool recently donated to the school from District 8 – Kootenay Lake’s Innovative Learning Unit.
Case manager and ADST teacher Dave Dando has been mentoring and helping students translate their ideas into practical objects such as jigsaw puzzles, guitars, and school signage.
“Their ideas are endless,” Dando said, “and now it’s available in schools, where kids are lining up every day, wanting to make things,” Dando explained.
The Applied Design, Skills and Technology (ADST) course was introduced to the BC curriculum in mid-2016 and outlines the skills and steps required in the design process: come up with an idea, build it and share it.
This year, the Innovative Learning Department reached out to schools for the opportunity to get more hands-on ADST resources to use in the classroom.
The division is able to hand out more than 56 items, from LittleBits (STEM and robotics kits) to Cublets (robot toys that use haptic coding to help builders explore robots and coded), 3D printers, and, of course, Glowforge laser cutters.
Glowforge differs from 3D printers in that it uses subtractive manufacturing and has the ability to laser engrave backing materials such as leather, wood, acrylic and cardboard.
“We’ve been using cardboard, mostly pizza boxes, because it reduces waste,” Dando said, adding that 3D printers, by contrast, build the material layer by layer.
In addition to making actual 3D products, Glowforge at Salmo Elementary is used as a tool to introduce students to image search, image processing and robotics teaching.It also addresses the need for effective transfer programs for struggling students who benefit from more flexible or diverse instruction.
“The ADST curriculum is built on students’ natural curiosity and creativity,” said Vanessa Finnie, the district curriculum support teacher.
“These toys and tools have the potential to harness the power of learning by doing and provide challenging fun that inspires students to dig deeper, use big ideas and adapt to our changing world.”
Professional-looking classroom signs popped up around Salmo Elementary, and everyone was looking for more cardboard.
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Post time: Jan-20-2022