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May 14, 2021

How CNC technology takes shop class to the next level

By scribe

Category:

lakeville north shop class

ShopSabre is committed to helping students learn and grow on the highest-quality American-made CNC machines in the industry. This has perhaps never been more evident than at Lakeville North High School in Lakeville, MN, where technology education teacher Kevin Baas has invested time and resources toward uncovering new passions and career paths for his students.

Here is an in-depth look at how Kevin utilizes ShopSabre CNC routers and plasmas to help create the next generation of industry experts.

The revolving door of learning

Kevin grew up around metalwork and has been involved in the industry professionally for more than 25 years. His father was a sheet metal worker, which helped inspire Kevin and led him to build strong relationships with his high school shop teachers.

During high school, he was always eager to come in early and work on welds and learn about new equipment. His role as essentially a volunteer assistant to his teachers led to them encouraging him to get into teaching himself.

Kevin has always loved learning and says he still tries to learn new things everyday. He also loves teaching, and doing so allows him to pass on his passion and what he’s learned to future generations. He’s a firm believer that learning should be hands-on and should equip you with an understanding of how to use your hands just as effectively as your mind.

“This is a revolving door of learning,” Kevin says. “It’s a place to teach the next generation the right way to problem-solve and troubleshoot and how to become a good employee and a good person.”

CNC for the STEM program

Kevin’s curriculum is centered around the STEM program, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A primary challenge for him was identifying how to implement each of these four components into a curriculum that can teach kids how to:

  • Use CNC equipment
  • Have fun with it
  • Find a career path they can be successful in
  • Have a great life

That may sound like a tall task, but Kevin has always been driven to rise to the challenge – and he loves having the right equipment to help him do so. Having professional-grade equipment in the shop helps him provide his students with real-world experience that can make them more capable on the job market. Equipment in Kevin’s shop at Lakeville North includes:

  • CNC router
  • CNC plasma
  • Laser engraver
  • Woodworking equipment
  • Welding booths
  • 3D printing lab
  • And more

In supplying his students with as many different resources and types of equipment as he can, Kevin hopes to open as many career-related doors as possible. Electives at the school are limited, so he tries hard to make his program rigorous, exciting, fun, and up-to-date every year.

The curriculum is broken down into three levels, designed to guide students down a path to discover strengths, passions, and career possibilities.

“The bottom line is ‘How can I make my students become successful?’”

Finding the right equipment

In creating the program initially, Kevin wanted to use the best of the best equipment. He did a lot of research and kept arriving at the same conclusion.

“Every time I went to the table and looked, ShopSabre was at the top of my list,” Kevin says.

Kevin identifies three primary reasons he went with ShopSabre:

  • The machines are made from quality components
  • The machines are made in America
  • He saw the passion ShopSabre put into its work and wanted to instill that same passion in his students

This resulted in Kevin purchasing a ShopSabre CNC router and CNC plasma for use in his high school shop. During the purchasing process, he called ShopSabre, told them he was a teacher, and explained his goals with his students. He says ShopSabre knew right away what the best options would be for the kids, what would be the most user-friendly, and what would work best in their limited space.

He applauds the fun both he and the students have had in the shop ever since – along with the ease of usability and minimal need for maintenance.

“I’m not spending every day working on fixing [the router],” Kevin says. “We’re spending every day working on working on it, just watching it do its thing and being amazed by all the cool creations.”

Since investing in ShopSabre, enrollment for Kevin’s course has doubled as he continues to instill a passion for CNC into his students – just as his teachers did for him.

Take your curriculum to the next level with ShopSabre

ShopSabre manufactures world-leading CNC routers and CNC plasmas to provide educators, hobbyists, and shop owners alike with unmatched precision, efficiency, and versatility. Whatever your goals may be, we are dedicated to helping advance the future of CNC.

Shop our unmatched collection of CNC routers and CNC plasmas in Minneapolis today to experience CNC the way it was meant to be.

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