Students at a Salina school will soon experience laser technology for business and industry projects.
According to USD 305, Greater Salina Community Foundation grant funding for a Hobby Laser with air compressor, fan and fume extractor means students at South Middle School (SMS) will soon be building their entrepreneurial and product development skills in a whole new way.
The laser will play a key part as students develop their projects, concept through completion. They’ll design, lay out, cut and engrave wood and acrylics while computer numerical control (CNC) principles are reinforced. Brian Duncan and Rex Boley, industrial technology education teachers at SMS worked together to write the $4900 grant application for the GSCF.
“This laser technology will bring hands-on projects to the next level in our technical education classes,” said Duncan. Elevating the experiences is important because USD 305 middle schoolers begin actively planning for their futures, creating an Individual Plans of Study and taking a Career and Life Planning class.
“Having a laser engraver in middle school will help prepare students for more advanced equipment at the high school level,” said Boley. Connecting laser technology with middle school students was an idea that surfaced from discussions with Salina employers and technical education teachers.
Local industry has long emphasized the need not just for technical skills—the ability to operate equipment and use tools properly—but a career-focused mindset, in which the employee understands the value of organization and working through problems in stages.
Local partnerships and support such as this Greater Salina Community Foundation grant funding help create amazing opportunities for student success at USD 305.