We recently sat down with the staff at Appoquinimink High School to see how they and their students have been utilizing their AP Lazer machine as a learning tool in classrooms. Read on to find out more!
What model laser(s) did you purchase? SN2816
What features of an AP Lazer were compelling? (ex: open-architecture) Open architecture is a big plus, the lifetime support has come in handy many times as I learned the machine.
Did AP Lazer’s 24/7 lifetime support influence your decision? Yes
Is this your first laser? Yes
Would you consider the laser to be complementary to other technologies offered in the classroom? Or did it completely replace other equipment? Complimentary, additive. 3d printers are in our classroom and subtractive technology like laser cutter/ engraver is exciting for our students to use and allows them to use their CAD skills to produce different products.
How would you rate the day of personalized training that was included with the purchase of your machine? The training was very helpful and I felt confident that I could operate the machine after the training.
How did you integrate the laser into your curriculum? We use the laser as an option for completing builds and designs, cutting out cams for turning rotational motion to linear motion, different applications for CAD skills, Design challenges, etc.
In your opinion, is the machine easy for the students to learn to use? Yes, students have a very steep learning curve and become proficient quickly. Students used the laser on personal projects and club projects, chessboards, Christmas ornaments and decorations, engraving tumblers and mugs, etc.
What kind of training do you provide students before they use the laser? (video tutorials, written, hands-on, etc.) Hands-on training with the teacher. We have a manual that we printed from APLazer for the machine that is available for students to access regarding questions. Students operate the machine in pairs so that safety procedures are followed.
What kind of safety training do you provide students before they use the laser? We review the dangers of the machine and the safety checks and the checklist for students to follow when operating the machine.
What benefits do you see learning to use a laser having on students’ futures? Students are able to use different skills when using the laser. Designing for the laser requires students to design differently than with a 3d printer and the speed of the laser allows students to create multiple iterations in a class period than over multiple days.
What subjects do you use the laser in? Engineering classes.
Do you have any stories about students who have really excelled at using the laser? A few students have really been attracted to the speed and flexibility of the APLazer machine. One student started to create engravings for family and friends. A second student made a Christmas ornament for his class, made a chessboard, engraved it for school fundraisers, and staff gifts.
Other than classes, what do you use the laser for? (customizing school merch, asset marking, awards & plaques, etc.) Staff gift creation, customized mugs and tumblers, and water bottles. We are hoping to start to get into awards and plaques, but that is on the to-do list.
If using your laser for school merch, how do you determine pricing for your products? (profit margins, ROI, markup, etc.). We use some of the APLazer resources to help us determine the mark-up for each item.
How would you describe the impact owning a laser has had on your school? It is an exciting piece of technology and students are excited to learn how to use it and create projects with it.
What is the most used material? Wood and acrylic
Do you utilize the open-architecture feature? If yes, with what applications? Not yet
Do you have plans to expand on the students’ laser projects? (different materials, utilizing different techniques/settings, etc.) As we are coming out of covid and getting back into traditional school days, there are plans on the calendar to have students take responsibility for maintaining and developing a workflow for student creative work.
Do you have any examples of exceptionally creative student projects? Yes, we created craft kits for pre-school classrooms, mugs, ornaments, and awards.
Where do you source your material blanks from? We are still searching for the best suppliers.
What is your favorite part about using the laser? The speed and flexibility of the materials provide many options for students and staff to be creative
What ways do you see the school using the laser in the future that you haven’t tried yet? Using it for fundraisers, generating keepsakes for students and staff.
How has the laser benefited the community? Students have an additional tool to utilize when completing projects and parts for builds.
Would you purchase another AP Lazer? Yes!
Do you have anything else you’d like to add? We feel like we are only scratching the surface of the possibilities with the AP Lazer and look forward to learning more and more about it.
There you have it – another AP Lazer success story! This just goes to show that AP Lazer isn’t just for business use. It’s a great learning tool to help bring out your students’ creativity and challenge their eager minds.
Request a download of our free informative guide to learn how to create laser engraving lesson plans and discover what an AP Lazer can do for your classroom.