Kevin Elinski, the Director of Innovative Technologies at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix Arizona, has been a customer of Rocky Mountain Technology for many years now. Through his incorporation of 3d printers and laser cutters in his freshman curriculum, he sparks passion for engineering in the minds of our youth.
In their “Intro to Tech” class, freshman boys at Brophy Prep get to work high tech design software and construction tools. The class is designed to give the students an introduction to all the possibilities of engineering and technology while fostering a passion that will carry them into the “Advanced Tech” class the following year. The boys are encouraged to recycle materials and recognize how to create something, not only correctly, but efficiently.
Kevin Elinski believes in the power of self discovery. He provides his students with a sample project and a few instructions on where to start, and then allows them the opportunity to create and discover on their own. “We’re trying to build a culture here at Brophy Prep,” Kevin said, “We encourage these young men to be independent first and then consciously make choices to help each other, in true Catholic tradition.”
The young men at the Preparatory Academy enjoy the challenge and are rising to the occasion.
Three young students huddle together around a laser cutter and watch as their design comes to life. Sam, Caleb, and Reese are friends who are designing a car out of wood together. The purpose of this car is to go forward and backwards along one axle. Each of them has their own future goals, some centered around engineering and some around medicine, but they all come together to create a unique design that not only looks cool, but works perfectly. Their excitement translates into their work.
“It’s hard at first,” Caleb said, “We have to figure out how to make this work on our own. But it’s really awesome when it clicks. We did this on our own.”
Across the room, Hunter is working on assembling his own car. This one will not only go forward and back, but turn as well. He uses a finished model to guide him and places wires inside cut pieces of wood. Hunter has a passion for just about everything in life. He is an avid paint-baller, participates in martial arts, and wants to attend West Point Military Academy one day. He pours that passion into everything he does, including this engineering class.
Hunter is a hands on learner who finds this class, and the materials he has at his disposal, foster that type of learning. “These skills will look great on my resume!” Hunter said, “The lasers are easy to use and the 3d printing is fun and I can teach myself. It was hard at first, but I know I am building skills here that will help me later on.”
“We give them a lot of freedom to experience won their own.” Kevin explains, “It can be a hard class to teach. They’re at different levels, but watching it click is very rewarding.”
We here at Rocky Mountain Tech are so proud of all these young men have accomplished and can’t wait to see what they create next!