Professional Development underscores Concordia Commitment to STEM Learning

High school STEM teacher Seth Carper completed a Masters course on parametric design at the end of last year and over part of the summer.

Concordia's robotics teacher guides a student how to build a robot

One of the biggest applications in robotics is 3D design and manufacturing, and parametric design is a skill used in industries that branch the whole design spectrum. Advanced 3D design - and the ability to make that design a reality - is a highly sought-after skill with real leverage.

Alongside Mr. Carper, his classmates were individuals who worked for Nike, engineering firms, architecture companies, a 3D-printed home start-up company, a jewelry design business, and someone who turned a 3D printed ceramic hobby into a career. 

As part of his practicum for the course, Mr. Carper designed a piece that utilized leftover foam board scraps from students' STEAMlab projects. The piece was designed in the parametric design software Grasshopper, and each part was cut using a laser cutter. It took about six months to collect enough scraps to complete it! It can serve as a standalone piece, but Mr. Carper’s favorite part is the shadow it casts when light hits it at the right angle.

Parametric design built by Concordia's STEM teacher

Taking this class is part of a larger initiative by the school to increase its investment in 21st century design and technology skills. We're currently in the process of transforming a space on the third floor into a design lab with state of the art design tools (3D printers, laser cutter, CNC machine, etc.) Mr. Carper is currently piloting the 3D design software in the 2nd semester robotics class. The goal is to offer design technology as a new course next year.

We want students to be able to give life to their creativity. Whatever they can imagine, we want them to have the skills and tools to create. In the same way Mr. Carper’s piece served as a way to give new life to what would have been waste, the ultimate goal is for students to design projects that serve a higher purpose, projects that make the world a better place as a result of their initiative.

Learn more about Concordia’s STEM program

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