The project objective:
Reigate based company Thinklaser Limited, experts in engineering laser technology, are donating kit worth up to £8,000 to South Essex College in an effort to enhance students learning of laser technology and its abilities.
The high calibre equipment is one of the Flatbed Lightblade machines which use a CO2 wave lengh and has been placed in South Essex College as part of a trial to see how well the scheme will work in benefiting the student’s specific educational projects and their understanding of laser technology.
If the programme is successful with South Essex College, then this scheme will be implemented across various colleges in the UK, subject to an application process.
Why are we trying this initiative?
We want to encourage and improve students understanding of laser technology, the process application and capability of using laser machines within the Arts and other departments that could possibly benefit.
Managing Director of Thinklaser Limited, Adrian Norton, explains the future of this scheme. “Over time we want to have students across the UK able to have access to this technology.”
What departments does this initiative benefit?
The departments that South Essex College felt would benefit most are their Media and Performing Arts, as they will incorporate laser technology into their project work including gobo and prop production, sign making and stop-motion animation set design.
We also encourage multi-media departments to film the projects to demonstrate the laser technology and how it benefits the production challenges, these will also be used for promotional material.
As this initiative is in its infancy we are excited to see how the students interact and learn with the machines, and are therefore also open to developing the scheme further. We will hopefully invite different department areas to get involved with the projects.
- Graphic design groups to create story board project outline criteria.
- Fashion design departments for product development.
- Technology and computer science departments who could utilise the technology for project development.
- Business study groups to look at potential revenue stream generation.
- Science and engineering students to analyse and work with how the machines function.
Essentially laser technology provides the ability to be creative using a large range of materials and is able to be explored and developed further through design and technology. Imagination will be the only limitation as far as projects are concerned in this educational challenge.
How the Educating with laser technology Scheme would work:
- Thinklaser would select a single educational centre, each year, from those willing to participate in the programme.
- The programme would be aimed specifically at 2nd year students on the assumption that at this point the students would have sufficient experience to carry off the basic project requirements to an acceptable level.
- The selected educational centre will be asked to present at least 3 student projects that could utilise laser technology as part of the process/ product development. Selected materials to be used must fall within the bounds of those capable of being processed using the wavelength of the laser technology being promoted – CO2.
- At the determined start date set by the institution, a flatbed laser product will be delivered and installed at the selected institution where it will used by both students participating within the programme but also will/should be made available to all students.
- The project will be videoed and contain, at minimum, footage of process, have a script describing the content of the footage presented in a voice over format and accompanied with a background soundtrack that would enhance the viewer’s experience. (As these will be used for promotional material and in all cases the project group will be given full acknowledgement for the production of such work.)
- At the end of the project period, ownership of the laser machine will be transferred to the institution. Responsibility and running costs from this point onwards will be passed to the institution unless otherwise agreed.