By Rowan Potzler, SGI Student Reporter
The new laser in the Technology department, hidden within the halls of SGI High School, is a force to be reckoned with. It can indent logos onto wood, metal, or glass – and it’s all for the tech students in Springville. However, the Engineering Teacher in charge, Jon Shelley, hopes that in the future, other clubs and departments, like the business and art classes, would be able to do use it too.
The Epilog Laser is capable of small, precise cuts and small engravings on a variety of surfaces, and is already in use. In one tech class, the class recreated childhood board games like Connect 4, Jenga and Battleship using the machine. The games were larger than the standard expectations, a testament to how powerful the laser is.
“It affects how quickly we can prototype,” remarked Shelley. “It lets the students use cheap materials for prototypes and brings their work to a new level. All in all, it’s better for the students.”
To fund the laser, the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation (SGCEF) awarded a $30,000 grant to the technology branch after Shelley applied for it. (The funds for this grant were raised at the SGCEF annual wine tasting event held in November 2017.) The school that Shelley once instructed at, Grand Island, had four of these lasers available to their students, enabling the students to go above and beyond in their work. Shelley hopes that Springville students will be able to reach the same heights.
The laser was too large to be brought into the building through regular doors – its’ size contributed to the fact that it had to be brought into the room through the tech room window. Rollers had to be laid out on the floor to ease entry, and the building and grounds staff helped immensely.
In general, it’s Shelley’s classes who use the high-tech machine. “It’s really his baby,” commented Tim Baumgartner, Shelley’s coworker in the Tech department. “He applied for the grants.”
All in all, the new laser was due to the work of Shelley. It is now being used by the tech department’s classes, mostly by students involved in CAD/CAM classes. It is the hope that soon, the Epilog laser will be used by students in many departments – all for the sake of furthering learning.