A Cut Above: Lower School Laser Projects

Student learning Adobe Illustrator design software

A Cut Above: Lower School Laser Projects

Child sketching ideasIt starts with paper and pencil and ends with a state-of-the-art circuited house model, cut by a Dremel LCC40 laser and assembled by third grade Labbies. Yet, it’s the process in between that sparks curiosity and turns on the lightbulbs of learning and innovation. Lower School Computer Science Teacher Katie Lechowski and Third Grade Science Teacher Sushma Lohitsa lead their students through a full STEM experience that includes learning Adobe Illustrator fundamentals, participating in a peer review process, studying electricity, and hands-on building.

Assembly of the laser cut pieces“Lab is Dewey, Dewey is Lab. Learning through doing, creating through experimentation and doing! These students are trying something they have never done before and figuring out how to succeed,” said Lechowski. Lechowski and Lohitsa take the students on this journey from a pencil and paper sketch to an Adobe Illustrator program and finally to a laser cut design. Students learn the language of Adobe and the principles that guide the cutter. 

Joy in the final product isn’t just reserved for the proud students. Lechowski also thrills at the process and project. “What I enjoy most is watching the students who are scared to use Adobe Illustrator and a Laser Cutter transform and realize they too can use these tools and create things just like adults. They realize that age or grade doesn’t matter, but the willingness to try— and sometimes fail—is all that matters.” This focus on computer-based design skills and machine-based innovation makes Lab kids a cut above the rest.

The Lower School’s purchase of the Dremel LCC40 Laser Cutter was made possible by the generous support of our donor community. Watch the machine in action here

Fully Assembled laser cut house with lights


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