2 students next to machine

Amelia Henschel and Ansley Duff, fifth-graders at Riverview Middle School, pose with the school’s new laser engraver.

Riverview tech ed lab adds laser engraver

Posted September 20, 2021

Riverview Middle School students now have access to a high-tech laser engraver, thanks in large part to a grant from the Plymouth Education Foundation.

“Our project objective is to modernize the middle-school facility with current equipment,” Riverview technology education teacher Andrew Harder wrote in the grant application. “In doing so, we will undoubtedly align our program with the school district's pillar, Academic Excellence for the 21st Century.”

The engraver can be used in all grade levels, in conjunction with other machines or on its own. All Riverview students take a STEAM/Technology Education class each year, so they will have many opportunities to gain experience with this technology.

“This machine will help make a lasting impact on our school’s population,” Mr. Harder said. “Students will learn how to use design software, take their idea from a digital concept, and incorporate it into something tangible.”

Students already are taught to use Tinkercad, a design program. Now they will be able to take their designs one step further by using the engraver to cut them into plastic, wood, leather, thin metal, etc.

“We can also use the engraver as a way to rapidly prototype parts for different engineering challenges, giving students real-life experiences,” Mr. Harder said.

Riverview collaborated on the machine with Plymouth High School, which also has a laser engraver. Teachers in both tech ed programs think the earlier exposure will allow for a smoother transition and lead students to a more thorough understanding of the equipment.

A grant from the Plymouth Education Foundation provided $11,280 of the $15,379 needed to fund the project. “The technology education department is very grateful and fortunate to have such an amazing foundation that is willing and able to make positive contributions to our community and program that otherwise would be challenging to do without their help,” Mr. Harder said.

Learn more:
• Learn more about the high-tech equipment in the LTC-Plymouth Science & Technology Center.
• Learn more about the Plymouth Education Foundation grant program.
• Explore the Innovative Opportunities section of our District Report Card to learn more about how our students have become leaders using modern, cool resources to learn in innovative ways and to become innovators.