Co-ordinator of Lateral Learning – STEM, Ingrid Schwartz, says CNC machines are essential tools in the industrial manufacturing process, designed to autonomously process materials such as wood, plastic, metal or composite.
The new purchase is helping to prepare the 1500-strong school community to use the machine through each stage of the manufacturing process. Ultimately, the renewed focus on STEM is providing the young girls with the prospect of a career in science, technology, engineering or maths.
Schwartz says she encourages them to learn by making mistakes along the way, with students reporting feeling empowered and confident.
“The school is thrilled to be able to continue to offer its students access to industry-standard technology so they can follow their passion for STEM and lead the way for women in the sector,” Schwartz says.
“The code input into the machine controls the subtractive manufacturing process, meaning the machine removes layers of the material to shape a custom-designed part or object. When the part is complete, the girls test the function of their design and then improve the design as required. The process hones their engineering and mathematics skills as well as their problem-solving abilities,” she says.
The year 10 students are designing and manufacturing parts for solar-powered cars, while the year 12 students are creating components for their design and technology project.
“This focus on STEM within our school will set our students up to feel empowered and confident about the prospect of a career in this space, with two of our students landing engineering scholarships last year,” Schwartz says.