STEM education for youth has gained so much attention in recent years (and rightfully so), with everyone from the White House to local after-school clubs singing the praises of hands-on learning. This was definitely not the case in the late 80s, when educator Tom Dubick began teaching engineering at Charlotte Latin School in North Carolina.
Whether you’re creating a campus makerspace from scratch or wanting to add CNC (computer-numerically controlled) machines to your space’s tool offerings, there are a number of logistical and safety concerns to bear in mind. Depending on the type of machines you’re considering and the rules and regulations of your campus, different categories of safety concerns may come into play.
We specially designed a new lab experiment for Mechanical Engineering students who are required to take heat transfer courses as part of their major. The Heat Sink Experiment gives students a chance to gain practical experience with theories about heat transfer. This lesson teaches about extended surfaces and 1D steady-state conduction in finned surfaces by having students analyze, design, fabricate on a CNC mill, and test their own heat sinks. Students get a pragmatic, hands-on way to engage with engineering concepts, gain first-hand experience, and also get introduced to manufacturing processes, all of which provide an edge in the job market.
Teaching engineering is hard. It’s one thing to explain concepts, but most students require concrete, practical examples in order to fully understand those concepts. Practical examples cost money, and they also require time and effort to develop. That’s why we’ve started creating free educational content for Mechanical Engineering courses!
Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Dr. Chris Rogers has a strong commitment to effective teaching techniques. At Tufts, he has spearheaded a number of new educational directives, including learning robotics using Lego bricks and learning manufacturing by building musical instruments. His teaching work extends from higher education down to the elementary school level, where every year he talks with over 1000 teachers around the world about ways of bringing engineering education to the younger grades.
We’re curious what traits and skill sets hiring managers look for in entry-level engineers, so we asked a few folks we know. This post is the first in a series.
Two weeks ago, a few of us ladies here at OMC, along with some of our friends over at Otherlab, participated in the Expanding Your Horizons conference hosted at UC Berkeley to help educate young girls about STEM careers. The conference gathered about 500 girls between the ages of 11 and 14 to learn about STEM fields from female students and professionals in various tech industries.
It’s impossible to tell the Other Machine Co. story without talking about our roots in education. The predecessor to today’s Othermill was developed as a part of a research and development program to “reinvent shop class for the 21st century.” And though the machine itself has changed and become fine-tuned over the years, our commitment to our original mission has stayed the same.