SAFETY FUN LEARNING If it's safe, then it will be fun, and if you learn something; that's icing on the cake.
Technology is the "T" in STEM/STEAM. Technology is changing rapidly and at VSW we work hard to keep up with it. Using Fusion 360 (a Parametric Design program), students are able to design just about anything their imagination can think of in three dimensions! Then they can print it on one of our four different production-quality 3D printers and literally bring their creation to life. 3D printers have become one of the favorite tools for our students.
The "S" in STEM/STEAM represents Sciences one of the building blocks used to produce functional parts, components, or assemblies. The decision whether to use paper, wood, plastic, composites or metal for a project is called "Material Science". Adhering these materials to create a cohesive bond with each other is chemical science "Chemistry".
VSW introduces these practical design processes during the development stage of a student's project to shorten their learning curve.
Last, but not least, is Math. STEM/STEAM students enjoy math because they can see the value of equations they apply to their projects. An example of this would be a rocket team needing to test a payload bay that holds a raw hens egg. Their payload bay will be parachuting back to earth after being launched and then descending at the rate they calculated. They need to test their payload design, but it will be weeks before they can get to a launch site. So how are they going to find out if their design will keep their egg safe at impact? Math! They decide to calculate the distance that the payload bay needs to be dropped without a parachute. Their payload bay is then dropped from a ladder at their calculated distance, the design is test, problem solved.
When it comes to STEM/STEAM student competitions it can't be done without Engineering. Engineering which holds the "E" spot in STEM/STEAM is essential for TARC (Team America Rocket Challenge) and the VEX Robotics competitions. Students that participate in STEM programs realize early on that Science, Technology and Math will take their rocket, Robot, or solar car project from theories to a functional vehicle
(practice). Aerospace and other Technology companies strongly support STEM programs knowing that it's an investment in future employees.
VSW Challenging Students with Projects
Vocational Steam Works mentor's work with Middle and High schools students so they can excel with STEM competitions.
Vocational STEAM Works is more than your cookie cutter "Maker Station" program. Projects that have to preform need to be built, not assembled. Yes, at the preschool level prefab projects are great, they work well with 4-6 year old children. Middle and High Schools that are competing in STEM Competitions are finding that "Off the Shelf Kits" are not allowed in these competitions. This leaves schools with the same dilemma that Industry has been dealing with for years. The task of training new students for a semester or two with vocational skills needed to be of value to the team. At Vocational STEAM Works we have the vocational skills and tools that are lacking in most schools.
VSW has a different views on art. We don't see art as Music, Dance and Theater, but as technology. Graphic Arts, Video Editing, and Photography to name just a few. When you look at any high performance engineered piece of racing equipment, you'll notice that logo's are carefully placed on beautiful paint schemes. And the race team matches their equipment,