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What's Happening in Dublin Schools?

"Project-based learning" is teaching students about skills and technology to help prepare them for careers in Engineering and Design.

DUBLIN, Ca: Matthew Bolton holds a DNA model he created in the 3D Printer. Photo Credit: DUSD Communications
DUBLIN, Ca: Matthew Bolton holds a DNA model he created in the 3D Printer. Photo Credit: DUSD Communications
By Michelle McDonald, DUSD Communications

In a second-floor classroom in Dublin High’s science building, the students in 
Computer-Integrated Manufacturing are working quietly and collaboratively.
And on a table nearby, a group of small, plastic figurines sit as examples of student 
effort, creativity, and the technology that helps makes imagination a reality.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing was a new class offering at DHS when the 
2013-2014 school year began, offering the students a look at the possibilities of the manufacturing process.

The possibilities include some state-of-the-art tools that have been brought into the classroom and are being utilized by students under the direction of teacher David Uken.

“The students come up with their own approach,” Uken said. “The way we do things, is that they have broad specifications, and we let them come up with their projects. It’s giving them a feel for technical work and the kinds of things they can do.”

Before the school year began, Dublin High was able to purchase both a 3-
Dimensional printer, capable of creating small objects, and laser cutter. 

3D Printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any 
shape from a digital model. Laser-cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut 
materials and is typically used for industrial manufacturing.

The cost of the 3-D printer was approximately $15,000 and the cost of the laser 
cutter around $10,000.

Funding for the equipment came through Dublin High’s Engineering Academy and was made possible by private and state grants. The state grant is the California Partnership Academy Grant, a competitive grant. Private grants have come from Chevron, Braddock and Logan, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Dublin Partners in Education as well as an anonymous donor.

“What excites me is that this is an opportunity to work with the most current 
technology,” said senior Josh Price, the president of the DHS Robotics Club. 
Sasha Schuele, a junior, designed, engineering and manufactured a puzzle box with the 3-D printer.

Exposure to this kind of technology and equipment has helped her as she make 
decisions about her future field of study. Schuele said she would like to be a bio-scientist.

“I’m so glad I took this class,” Schuele said. 

Matthew Bolton, a junior, is interesting in being a nano-technician. He created DNA 
model with the 3-D printer, and made a copy for his father’s desk at work as well.
Bolton said Uken’s class has turned out to be his favorite as well.

Jasmine Lin admits she was close to getting a schedule change when the year began. She is thrilled that she didn’t.

“But I am pursuing an engineering path and this opens up more possibilities for 
me,” Lin said. “I wasn’t thinking about manufacturing before, I was thinking about 
software and computers, but now this is making it harder for me to decide.”

Price is hoping to attend MIT next year. He said that as well as giving him and his 
fellow students to opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment, the 3-D 
printer has opened up possibilities for his fellow Robotics Club members.

“Now if we don’t have a part we need, we can make it overnight,” Price said. “That’s what excites me the most about these this. This is a cool class. The tools are exciting and interesting. There’s very little lecturing in this class. People are working on their own projects.”

Dublin High assistant principal Bill Branca said students are getting the invaluable 
opportunity to “see, hold and test their ideas during the design process.”

“This equipment in the classroom exposes students to the same cutting-edge 
technologies they’ll encounter in Engineering and Design careers,” Branca said.

“The program fully allows students to participate in project-based learning that has 
actual real-world applications.”

Junior Zoey McDougall relishes the opportunity to work with new technology in a 
classroom setting.

“It’s useful for getting experience, for us to be able to use things that are being used right now,” McDougall said. “We are going to be familiar with it. It’s fun to see what we can do with it.”

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