Half Day

Today was the first of the remaining half days of school. I’ve mentioned it before, but these day are generally pretty useless, and are simply makeup for snow days we missed. We must get to 180 days of school, so we have 4 total half days added to our schedule this year. Our freshmen finished up working on the Turner’s Cube. Although we did not finish a cube, they learned the process, and we will continue it next year. The upperclassmen continued to clean the shop and perform some odd last minute jobs. Our Robotics team is working furiously to get their Rover completed before they leave on Tuesday. I believe they will spend some time in the shop over the weekend in order to get ready. Many of those students have asked their teachers for permission to stay in the Robotics Shop all day to work on the rover. Almost all of them were granted permission, so the shop was fairly busy this afternoon.

More Turner’s Cube

Students continued working on making a Turner’s Cube today in class. They learned some milling basics in the classroom, and then got their hands dirty with our Trax manual milling machine. The chips were flying, and although we made a few mistakes, the principles and methodology for milling were learned. A few photos below of freshmen working the milling machine.

Turner’s Cube

As the school year winds down, I wanted to get my Freshmen students some time working in the machine shop. To that end, we began learning about milling – parts of a mill, types of cutting bits, cutting processes, and materials. Students then created a 3D model of a Turner’s cube in Fusion 360 in order to create a drawing sheet, which shows the dimensions required to make the cube. I went ahead and made sure I had all the procedures correct and fabricated a cube today. I think it turned out ok, a few minor changes I might make regarding the chamfer procedures. Will be interesting to see how the student cubes turn on in the next 2 days. Below are some photos of my completed cube.

Last Full Week

Today marked the last full week of school remaining on the calendar. Next week is basically reserved for snow days. As I have mentioned before, the snow days are rather useless days, each is a half day and is required simply to get us to completing 180 days of school. This week, we will finish up some projects, and I will teach the freshmen about milling. Most of the students have checked out for the year, and perhaps many of the teachers as well.


Today was the Medford Cardboard Canoe races. There were 12 teams entered, and some really nice looking boats. A professor from UMass Lowell had a sleek looking canoe, while a group of younger kids had a small maneuverable hot dog boat. Our two boats looked very good among the competitors, and our students were happy to talk to admirers about the work they had done. Our green boat, unfortunately, had some issues during its first race. These issues mainly arose due to an uneven paddling strategy from the team that led to them tipping over. Tough to recover from that, and the boat was damaged. Our senior boat looked solid and won 2 of its 3 races, although it was on its last legs in the final race. The senior team came in second place, and it was a fun event for everybody. I think we learned a few ways to improve the boats for next year, and hopefully we will again have multiple teams competing.