Kevin Kernan of Washington’s Deer Park High School has seen many changes in his thirty-plus years as an educator, including the evolution of his subject from what was called “shop,” to today’s Industrial Technology. What hasn’t changed is his loyalty to the Laguna Tools’ SmartShop® II router. The 4 X 8 SmartShop® II ATC at Deer Park is the second such unit he has recommended and used as a teaching tool. Kernan’s efforts also led to the purchase and use of an identical unit at his previous teaching assignment.
Kernan says of his changing role, “We need to infuse technology into the students’ world, because that’s the world they live in. The SmartShop® II plays an important role in providing that technology. We work in a lot of different media, then bring them together in a single project. My students work with hardwoods, plywood products and metals such as aluminum. The SmartShop® II gives us the ability to bring all of these different materials together to produce innovative, practical projects that serve both our school and the surrounding community.”
Like many users of Laguna Tools’ machines, Kernan used his attendance at the AWFSÆ Fair in Las Vegas as an opportunity to comparison shop for a router. “The SmartShop® II proved to the best fit for both my current and previous teaching posts,” he says. “Its price point and functionality was clearly superior.”
Kernan is justifiably proud of the diverse projects his students successfully complete with the help of the SmartShopÆ II. “We make trophies for sports programs, signage for school activities, study carousels for special needs students, and other service-learning projects. We also build custom furniture, skateboard decks and guitars. The SmartShopÆ II lets me create an environment of continuous learning, from the basics of router operation, to more sophisticated subjects, such as tooling and feed rates. I’m proud to say the SmartShop® II has played an important role in the many regional and national awards my students have won for their work.”
When asked about the learning curve necessary with the SmartShop® II, he replies, “The SmartShop® II is a sophisticated machine. But it is also a highly intuitive one. My students show an innate understanding of it. They take to it like a highly sophisticated gaming system. The combination of SOLIDWORKS® and Aspire software not only lets my students do highly advanced projects, it introduces them to subjects such as entry level programming and material sciences that cross over to other industries.”
Kernan confesses he has his sights set on another Laguna Tools’ unit. “I think a Resaw Master Bandsaw would be the perfect complement to our SmartShop® II. It would definitely complete our series of tools.”
Kerman sums up his loyalty to the SmartShop II when he says, “It’s a world of innovation and creativity. The requisite skills today’s students need to function and succeed come from working with capable, powerful hardware. The SmartShop® II gives them the opportunity to employ both their minds and their hands. After a year of experience with the SmartShop® II, my senior students are well-qualified and fully-employable.”
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