NEW BREMEN — Mike Heuker and his high school engineering students addressed the New Bremen Board of Education Wednesday night to talk about new programs and equipment that is supporting the student projects.
“Thanks for investing in the program with the 3-D printer,” Heuker said.
The printer is allowing students to design anything that falls within a 5-by-5-by-5 foot area. The printer produces the item out of plastic.
“It starts with basically nothing, just a platform,” Heuker said.
Students using the machine brought in train wheels they’d designed on the printer with the idea of making a full train.
What’s interesting, the students said, is they can design something and turn around and make it into a useable product.
“It’s not a cheap plastic either,” said student Garrett Sear.
“It’s one thing to see it on paper. When you can actually hold it in your hand, it’s a totally different thing.”
The 3D printer is the same brand Crown uses, Heuker said.
Meanwhile, the Principals of Engineering class has utilized a STEM grant to start experimenting with wind powering cars through the NASCAR race challenge.
“It’s opened a whole other area for kids to explore,” Heuker said.
Racing remote control cars, the students recently teamed up with the US Air Force, where they had a track with many different kind of corners.
“There was a lot of crashing going on,” Heuker said. “All kids were very engaged.”
He said it was also interesting to see different models other schools had experimented with. The whole project was funded by a STEM grant, which provided two cars with $600 worth of materials. The materials are reuseable.
“I told them it would come down to the best driver,” Heuker said. “An eighth-grader smoked all of them.”
Students are already thinking about what modifications might improve their cars for next year.