Ed Wall Brings STEM Curriculum to Life with ShopBot Tools

EdWall_01Currently: Technology Teacher, Elmira City Schools, Elmira, New York
Education: BS SUNY Oswego, Masters in Education from Elmira College
Ed’s experience: 26 years of teaching experience in High School, Middle School, Vocational and Adult Education.
Relevant Classes: ACE SolidWorks, Drawing and Design for Production, Production & Construction Systems, Manufacturing Systems and Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Ed has been teaching for more than a quarter of a century. As any veteran teacher will tell you, the key to success is to spark an interest by making the learning process engaging — and if possible, fun!

That’s exactly what Ed has been doing with his Technology Education students in Elmira. In recent years he has integrated the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum from Project Lead The Way (PLTW). If you’re not familiar with it, PLTW is a leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S.

But Ed’s doing PLTW’s curriculum with a twist – he’s using ShopBot Tools.

Says Ed, “I chose ShopBot Tools rather than other choices suggested by PLTW for a couple of reasons. Number one is the flexibility of the ShopBot Tools. I am able to put my ShopBot Buddy to work in five classes. I use it as an overhead router and sign maker in Production & Construction. I can use it as a laser tool in my Manufacturing class. In CIM, DDP and SolidWorks it works as a CNC mill and a rapid prototyping machine.

“You’ve got to be able to wake up the kids’ interest in learning. So one thing that’s great about working with the ShopBot is its potential for STEM activities. For example, our science and math teachers work together to teach geometrical principles, by having students design and build an octagonal desk set.”

Ed emphasizes, “My ‘Reason Number Two’ for choosing ShopBot: Cost! I was able to go to school administration and say, ‘For an investment of about $8000, I can use a ShopBot tool to teach five of my classes. This is significant. Project Lead the Way’s STEM curriculum requires a CNC mill or simulator — and the typical CNC mill can cost about $45K. If you want to bring CNC into a whole school system you could be looking at $200K or more. That’s why ShopBot made so much better sense for us.”

“With a ShopBot Tool, I can teach STEM curriculum with an $8000 tool instead of a $45,000 investment. And ShopBot’s flexibility allows me to teach 5 classes with the one tool.”

“What I also like about ShopBot is that it comes assembled and ready to go. And their customer service is top-notch. Very available. Very friendly people.”

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