STEAM fields are Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in elements of Mathematics. What if there were a hands-on tool that could be used in schools or learning centers that could aid in teaching all five fields and at the same time ignite students’ imaginations? It turns out AP Lazer is the ultimate STEAM machine!
We talked to Melissa Rabideau recently, owner of tinkrLAB. Melissa is using the AP Lazer machine to teach all these fields and more.
“TinkrLAB is STEAM Learning Centers and we’re a space that kids can come in and learn about STEAM in a very hands-on way. We also work with schools, their makerspaces, and their STEAM programs to get hands-on and tangible experience using AP Lazer.”
The students get to learn about the mechanics of the laser machine while also learning how to design files and run them.
AP Lazer creates a dynamic learning environment
“The whole idea is to make sure that the learning atmosphere is fun. So much of learning is memorization but if you can attach an activity to it, if you can attach fun to it, then you’re going to remember it.”
“We’ve had kids come in and create something that they can give as a gift. We’ve had robotics teams come in and they will design their own structures and their own trophies.”
Education for all ages
Co-owner Joe Rabideau takes laser technology down to its most basic idea to explain it to students of all ages. “The best explanation for a laser engraving machine that I’ve used is a magnifying glass. People understand that if you take a magnifying glass with the sun beating through it and move it up and down. You can create a pinpoint where it will start to catch on fire. You’re taking all that energy and focusing it. That’s the same thing that our AP Lazer is doing just with a bit more complexity.”
Melissa tells us, “Little kids will come in and we’ll do classes, we’ll teach them. They can actually draw on paper and they can create their own designs.”
“The schools are focusing so heavily on getting the kids prepared for technology and engineering and being able to utilize a laser engraving machine right in the classroom setting has been absolutely huge because now they can tie together- science, technology, engineering art, and mathematics all in one unit. So, having AP Lazer and having that partnership with us has been absolutely critical for working with the schools and being able to help them move the kids forward in this entire STEAM movement.”