This week our 5th grade focus group became the first class to use the laser cutter. Each student created a simple design for our layout in CorelDRAW. Using the program we also selected which lines would be raster (engraved) or Vector (cut). We then loaded regular cardboard into the laser cutter and focused the machine by setting the appropriate distance between the cardboard and the laser. After adjusting a few settings in the printer setup such as the power and speed of the laser, we sent the print command and pressed the "go" button. We all watched in wonder as the laser began to engrave the shapes and cut the lines. The project came out as expected and each students got to take their cardboard object with them to share and spread the laser cutting excitement! We have big plans for the Innovation lab laser cutter especially in our upcoming prototyping and investing class. To have a machine that will cut and engrave a wide range of materials with precision is an amazing resource for our students.
The 2016 GEMS Mock Election is officially underway! The Solving Problems With Design Thinking class is using the mock election as a way to test several solutions we designed to address the problem of decreased voter participation in our country.
Perhaps the largest component to our solution was the creation of an online voting system that would keep votes anonymous, but also keep the process secure. To address these needs, our class created unique codes that would be used to verify that each vote was cast by a GEMS Student according to the election rules while also allowing only one vote per student. The class also created a voting portal to access the online ballot. We then provided classroom teachers in grades 3-8 with slips of paper which included the voting code or PIN number, directions for accessing the portal, and a QR code to provide another access option.
GEMS Innovation Lab