In a recently remodeled classroom at Fulton High School Wednesday night, a group of fascinated adults gathered around a work bench, oohing and aahing over a small machine as it slowly, but surely worked at printing a 3-D model.
The Fulton School Board and district employees got a tour of the high school's new fabrication lab - still a work in process - after the board's regular meeting Wednesday night.
Science and engineering teacher Jim Hall showed off all of the lab's new toys - including two 3-D printers, a 3-D scanner and a vinyl cutter in the "clean room" and a CNC (computer numerically controlled) router and still-in-the-box laser cutter in the working lab.
Hall shared a number of pieces already created by students - including a hooded sweatshirt one student made for him with Hall's name and the hornet logo. He showed off how students had come up with a solution to tape a file folder to the side of one of the 3-D printers because the breeze caused by the open door was warping the plastic as the printer worked up models. He showed off a couple of wooden ramps built for use by the physics classes.
Hall proudly pointed out that learning to use equipment like the CNC router will have real-world benefits for Fulton students.
"Today in the paper there was an ad for a CNC operator," Hall said in the middle of explaining to the board how the machine can be used to cut aluminum to build robots for the robotics team. "I can guarantee our kids will have a lot better head start."