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laser steam tool

Put the “S” in STEAM with a Laser Engraving Machine

laser steam toolGetting students excited about Science has proven to be a battle for primary, secondary and even post-secondary education teachers and administrators. Because of this, STEAM education is rising in popularity; some even say the concept is vital to our future, and the future of our children. But how do we recruit the children of today into the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics?

The complexity of this challenge is immense. It is hard enough to get kids attention for even 5 seconds let alone get their attention for enough time to discuss academically complex subjects in the areas of STEAM.

excited students STEAM concept

One way to get kids attention is to say the word “laser.” Yes, that is right! Just say the word “laser” and you will not only get kids’ attentions but keep it.

Lasers: The Ultimate STEAM Machine

This article series will cover each STEAM subject and relate how the laser cutting and engraving machine can help educators excite students when teaching complex subjects. Naturally, we’re starting with Science.

laser tube
What science exists in the laser machine?

Physics

The laser beam is light physics generated in a controlled tube, a key component of the laser machine. Students can learn the laser beam is generated by exciting a gas (CO2) that is contained in the tube with a power supply. The beam is then bounced back and forth at light speed to concentrate the beam and then allows a portion of the beam to escape the end of the tube.

Electricity

Another important part of the laser machine is electricity. The power supply can be presented in a learning diagram of how the energy from regional power plants transmit power via power lines to your house with transformers that step down the voltage to 110 volts. The AP Lazer machine converts this energy to a precise amount to excite the laser tube.

Mirrors

What is used to bounce the laser beam from the back of the machine angularly to the front nozzle and down to the work product? Mirrors. This is an interesting discussion of how a simple mirror can reflect a powerful laser beam. (Just like the shield of Captain America!)

Refraction and Light Science

A focusing lens is situated in the nozzle just above the material to focus the intensity of the laser beam to a concentrated point. The lens in a laser cutting machine is a convex mirror. A diagram easily shows how individual light photon beams that are parallel can be concentrated to a point based on the curvature of the lens.

Material Science

What happens to a piece of wood, glass, plastic or even granite when a laser beam hits it? Because each material reacts differently to the laser beam, engraving and cutting different materials is an exciting educational exercise in material science. Why does wood vaporize? That’s a fun question to answer when you are testing with a laser machine!

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There are much more advanced subjects that can be discussed in the realm of Science when considering a laser cutting and engraving machine for your classroom. If you are a secondary or post-secondary teacher interested in integrating a laser machine for STEAM education, we’d love to assist in creating a comprehensive science curriculum in partnership with you.

The STEAM initiative is at the heart of AP Lazer’s commitment and involvement in the education industry; we want the children of today to be excited about what the future of tomorrow holds.

Want to get your students excited about Science? Give us a call at 800-585-8617 or shoot us an email.

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laser machines for education

AP Lazer: The Ultimate STEAM Machine

laser machines for educationWhat do laser machines have to do with STEAM?

An essential part of how innovation arises from STEAM-based projects is the process of “making”. Making is simply hands-on creation – building a scale model or prototype, for instance – and much of it happens in “makerspaces” or “Fab Labs” (short for fabrication). Makerspaces are today’s new technology workshops guided by STEAM principles. In nearly every makerspace, you’re bound to find at least a 3D printer and vinyl cutter, maybe some Arduino or Little Bits kits, and – if you’re lucky – the ultimate STEAM tool: a laser machine.

AP16_BLOG_STEAM_laserDetail

With the ability to cut or engrave nearly any material, laser machines are truly the greatest STEAM tool on the market. But don’t take just our word for it. In an article for MakeZine.com, California high school math teacher and “Maker Educator” Casey Shea wrote, “If money were no object, the laser cutter would be my No. 1 tool, as it is perhaps the most versatile tool that I have ever used.”

In an article from 2009, by Mike Dean for SouthEast Education Network, laser machines got rave reviews from both administrators and students. Now you know it has to be good if both teenagers and their authority figures can agree on it.

Dark Steel Robotics, a student robotics team at the Academy of Engineering and Design Technology, found their laser machine to be crucial for their work – using it to create prototypes, cut out “numerous complex components”, and add logos to their robots.

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Club president Bryan Uber told Dean, “We use the system for a variety of applications — the machine is necessary for so many of the projects we do.” Regarding placing first in the Boston University Design Challenge, Uber said, “The laser engraver was an invaluable tool during this project.” 

students with laser machineAdministrators from the John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center in Hancock County, West Virginia also had glowing remarks about their laser machine. Instructor of building construction Steve Shannon told Dean the following.

The students are all very eager to learn to use the laser. Not only are they intrigued by how it works, but they also realize the many opportunities that a laser machine opens for them out in the world. Some of them see it and immediately think of how to start a small business using it, while some see it as a useful tool for existing enterprises.”

George Danford, director of the Career Center, told Dean:

“The number of things we could find to use this machine for are countless!

There isn’t a program offered today which hasn’t been changed with the incorporation of technology. This is why we selected a laser engraving system, and it has definitely improved our curriculum.”

Alright, I’m convinced. How can I get a laser machine?

Whether you’re looking to add a laser machine to your school or want to start a community makerspace, the first step of purchasing a laser machine is choosing the right one. We offer five models at AP Lazer, which you can easily compare using this handy matrix.

While the upfront costs of purchasing a laser machine can be difficult to navigate on a school budget, know that with this technology, you get what you pay for, and AP Lazer offers the best technology on the market.

Take for instance young entrepreneur Nurul Syazninabila Mohd Ghazali (aka Nabila). According to Cuts Studio: Laser cutting made cool by Lydia Koh, when Nabila first started her laser cutting and woodworking business, she went with a cheaper machine. It ended up breaking. In six months. Don’t make the same mistake as Nabila and invest in an AP Lazer machine from the start.

With STEAM momentum only continuing to build, some teachers are finding success in grant writing to fund their Fab Labs. And if that doesn’t work, take a page from Shea’s book and show your school how much money they could save by having a laser machine. From no longer needing to outsource campus signage, to easily customizing whiteboards for specific lessons, your school will only find more and more ways for your AP Lazer machine to save money.

Why choose an AP Lazer machine?

As a result of revolutionary engineering by founder Tong Li, AP Lazer machines offer exceptional performance, stability, and efficiency that you won’t find elsewhere. Our technology lasts longer and cuts two times faster than competitors. Our unprecedented open architecture design allows you to engrave items of any size. Look here to see what other features make the AP Lazer difference.

Not only are our machines outstanding, but we also offer the best in customer service. Between set-up assistance, video tutorials, AP Lazer University, and 24/7 phone tech support, we’ll answer all questions and solve any problems.


education discount for laser machineLaser engraving business starter package

Oh, and did we mention, educators get a 10% discount with AP Lazer?

So what are you waiting for?! Contact us today to find out how you can get your hands on an AP Lazer machine.

Additional Links and Resources:
STEM to STEAM
STEAM Education
Engaging Students in the STEM Classroom Through “Making”
Pivot Point: At the Crossroads of STEM, STEAM and Arts Integration
STEAM Funding Endorsed BY NEA
STEAM Ahead: Merging Arts and Science Education
Gaining STEAM: Teaching Science Through Art

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Enrich your curriculum and engage students with a laser machine,

Laser Engraving and Cutting Machines for Schools and Universities

Enrich your curriculum and engage students with a laser machine,
What if there was a classroom tool that could help develop invaluable technical skills? What if the same tool fostered logical and creative thought processes? What if, on top of everything else, that tool could save your school money on engraved awards, commemorative tiles, and fundraising opportunities?laser engraver for classroom

How Will Students Benefit From a Laser Engraving and Cutting Machine?

With laser engraving and cutting machines for schools, students will be able to engrave glass, acrylic, plastic, wood, fabric, paper, and coated metals, just to name a few. They can also cut many of these materials. The ease of use for this machine means that with the proper initial instruction, students will be able to:

  1. Identify components of a laser engraving and cutting system
  2. Demonstrate proper safety precautions appropriate for a laser engraving system
  3. Describe vector images and how the laser cuts them
  4. Describe raster images and how the laser engraves them
  5. Use CorelDRAW to create designs for cutting and/or engraving
  6. Correctly focus an object to be cut or engravedlaser engraved school items
  7. Set power, pulses and feed rate appropriate for different processes
  8. Describe the advantages of laser cutters and engravers in the industry
  9. Understand the limitless possibilities that laser systems provide
  10. Realize the many opportunities that a laser machine opens for them out in the world

Laser Machine Benefits

Walk into almost any school fab lab or makerspace and you are likely to find one or more 3D printers—for good reason. They offer educators a cost-effective way to give students hands-on experience in STEAM subjects. But issues around print speed and uptime are prompting some schools to complement their 3D printers with laser machines, which open up new learning possibilities and have some distinct advantages over 3D printers. Take a look at the advantages a laser machine offers over a 3D printer.

How Schools Are Utilizing Laser Machines Today

Laser machines are already being used in educational settings across the country. Students in Kansas are utilizing the laser engraving machines in education to engrave footballs for homecoming and award medals for the cross country team. In Pennsylvania they engrave tiles to make into coasters as a fundraiser. In Colorado, students in the robotics club use the laser engraver to cut wooden models and etch logos into the bodies of their robots.

case study download

A laser engraving and cutting machine can be used in art, science, and industrial classrooms and add numerous options to boost your curriculum. The skills that students learn and develop when operating a laser can help them excel in fast growing fields and industries that span the gamut.

What is the Best Laser Engraver for Schools?students with laser machine

When you introduce a laser machine into your school’s curriculum, there are so many learning opportunities that can be provided to your students. When students can learn hands on with something as cool as a laser,  it all of the sudden becomes fun and engaging!

AP Lazer machines are easy to use and give students more freedom and greater possibilities than any other laser machine on the market. From art classes to industrial shop classroom settings, many schools are quickly realizing that a laser engraving machine is a powerful tool that help develop in their students both creativity and critical thinking skills.

Do More with AP Lazer

Our patented open architecture features a removable laser top which allows students to use the laser machine in a variety of configurations; and complete larger and more complex projects. Keep the laser top on its home base and it functions like a traditional ‘boxed-up’ laser machine, engraving small items such as trophies and awards. Remove the top from the home base and place it on the Utility Carriage, and the operator can then roll large, bulky objects directly beneath the laser head for engraving or cutting. The equipped EZ Leveling Wheels allow one to adjust the four corners of the machine independently. Utilizing this feature also makes it possible to place the removable top directly onto any flat surface such as wood or granite flooring and engrave directly on the surface.

Free Downloadable Ebook for Educators

Educational Discounts

If you are interested in laser engraving and cutting machines education discount for laser machinefor your school, university or community college, we have your solution.  All schools, universities, community colleges and technical centers qualify for a 10% educational discount. It is our goal to make AP Lazer the most affordable, cost effective multi-purpose tool in which your school will invest. Call a representative today at 800-585-8617 or contact us via our online form to learn how you can ignite the minds of your students by integrating an AP Lazer engraving machine into your facility.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

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