ShopBots, Augmented Reality and 3D Manufacturing – Mashpee High School MakerSpace training a new innovative workforce.
Think of it as shop class for the 21st century.
The makerspace, as it is called, is the Mashpee School District’s latest step toward boosting its STEM education offerings. An extension of the school’s Technology Center of Excellence, the makerspace offers students a place to put the math, science, and engineering concepts they are learning in class to practical use. Students have used technology in the space to make cups, signs, pens, and other materials.
Michael P. Looney, who is the department head for career and technical education at Mashpee Middle/High School, started planning for the makerspace after the school’s technology department was invited to take part in the Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire in April. Money was later earmarked in the school budget to open the space in September, while additional money in the form of grants helped the school outfit the space with a new laser engraver as well as a 3-D printer, lathes, robotics kits, and computers.
The Mashpee Technology Center, located at Mashpee Middle/ High School, has been recognized throughout the state of Massachusetts for its innovative course offerings. Students enrolled in courses throughout the Technology Center have competed in regional and state competitions as well as presented at state-wide conferences, for the past four years, including the Massachusetts STEM Summit, the MassCue conference at Gillette Stadium and regional STEM network meetings. Often referred to as a ”Center of Excellence”, the Mashpee Technology Center offers students in grades 7-12 immersive experiences in STEM and Manufacturing Education. The Technology Center teachers including Department Coordinator, Michael Looney, Salvatore Nocella, Kevin Blute and Amanda Hough work closely together to provide Mashpee students an authentic, hands-on learning environment.
Since 2010, the Mashpee Technology Center has been in the forefront of 3-D design and printing, automated manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, technology & engineering, 3-D animation, computer game design, and entrepreneurship education. Tools including Laser Engravers, embroidery equipment, 3-D printers, CNC manufacturing equipment and much more have all been used by the students within the Technology Center to create new products and develop a culture of creativity and innovation in Mashpee. The hashtag #MadeinMashpee is used throughout social media as new products are created by students and posted for all to see. For more information regarding the Technology Center, please visit their website at mashpeetech.com and follow them on Twitter @mashpeetech.