Engineering Design Course Engages Students

Guitars Teachers instruct students on how to create fully functioning electric guitars in Pine-Richland High School's Engineering Design course. The lesson is an interdisciplinary one, because students must use knowledge from other courses such as physics to complete their projects.

Teacher Jeff Maple says students create a fully functioning electric guitar. In the year-long course, students use 3-D modeling software to design and produce the body of an electric guitar. Once the guitar is finalized, the student utilizes the in-house CNC router to shape their final product. CNC router is a computer controlled cutting machine related to the hand held router used for cutting various hard materials, such as wood, composites, aluminium, steel, plastics, and foams. Next, they assemble their guitar bodies to purchased guitar kits and add a few aesthetic finishing touches. Design and production are two elements involved. The students must also cross-check their projects in the physics lab before final production.Guitar

“Through this process, students learn how physics and design work together to produce variations of structure and sound," said Mr. Maple. "This is truly a STEAM process, incorporating other disciplines.

Mr. Maple says if the students are creating they are engaged and this level of engagement helps develop solid engineering minds.
Often the course inspires students not to only delve into problem-solving and engineering skills, but to take a renewed look at music.