How Medford Vocational Technical High School Utilized CNC Technology to better their Cirriculum
November 14, 2021
Noah grew up in Arizona working closely with architecture and construction, and after a few years in the industry, decided to start a different career path in teaching. With a background in CAD, he began his newest career path at the Medford Vocational Technical High School in Medford, Massachusetts. His CAD background enabled him to work in the vocational school where he began teaching CAD software to students. “Medford is a unique school. We currently have 15 different vocational shops, ranging from electrical to metal fabrication labs to Cosmo or culinary, to robotics and engineering. The students are offered a wide variety of electives. Our students come to us for half of their day and can work hands on with the different machinery we have here in the robotics and engineering shop. We just opened our brand new 5,000 square foot engineering facility. On one side, students work with circuitry and CAD, and on the other side, students work closely with our large format machinery. We currently have two Techno CNC machines – an Atlas Series CNC router and the Venus Series CNC plasma cutter”.
Noah incorporates CNC technology into the curriculum by first focusing on the software to the students in their freshman and sophomore years of high school. As the students get a bit more familiar with the software, coding and machinery, the school allows for more freedom with the curriculum and machinery. The younger students focus on using the Techno CNC machinery for projects like name plates, custom signs, custom keychains, trinquets, and more. “My sophomore students just completed a project using our CNC plasma cutter. We used our Venus Tabletop Series CNC plasma cutter by Techno CNC Systems to create 2’ x 6’ signs for our sophomore students. The students utilized fusion 360 and learned how to export their designs into Vcarve. They then learned how to properly utilize Vcarve with the plasma cutter”. Students are currently prepping for two projects using the Atlas Series CNC router inside the fabled at MVTHS. The first project they will be working on is corn hole boards. By partnering up with the carpentry shop, the students will work together to create custom corn hole boards for the city of Medford. The carpentry students will be drawing up the corn hole designs, where the engineering students will then put their designs into CAD, and cut each piece on the CNC equipment. “We also have students working on their own custom projects. As students get more equipped to using the CNC technology, we allow them more free range. I currently have seniors utilizing the CNC machines for projects like furniture – one of my students is working on creating a custom chair for his room.
We have a wide variety of projects being completed daily, and we love that the CNC offers our students the ability to imagine, create, and fabricate”. Since MVTHS has only had their Techno CNC machines for less than a year, the school plans to incorporate the technology into a wide variety of projects for a new cirriculum, as well a utilize the machine for other on-campus projects, as well. “We have a sense that the school will be asking us to do more and more stuff for the students to help make this and that for the school. The CNC technology plays a key role in our school now. The CNC equipment will not just be serviced for student and curriculum use, but for larger projects to help the school, as well. The students will also be involved in that, and take pride in the projects that they create that will stay at the school. It is a really cool dynamic and additive to our school”.