Summer School for Teachers

It’s not every day that a student gets the opportunity to be the teacher. However, Kurt Hutchinson, Faculty Instructor at the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) at Washington State University, is happy to give up the reins to several of his students each semester, inviting them to learn more about the intricacies of CNC software and mold making, and to pass that knowledge on to their fellow students. Of course, it involves spending part of the summer in beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington – a tough sell – at CNC Software’s educational facility. The Mastercam® Summer Teacher Training program is designed for instructors only, from the students’ point of view.

Introduced in 1995, the Summer Teacher Training program teaches instructors how to use Mastercam in a way that is adaptable to their backgrounds. Let’s face it, not all technology instructors are teaching the same things, the same ways, in similar environments. Many of the Mastercam courses are project-based allowing the instructors to learn its functions and capabilities much the way their students would for the first time. Classes are kept small and provide instructors the opportunity to learn and interact with their counterparts from other schools across the country.

According to Kurt, there are about 800 students in the MME college and most of those students need to take his manufacturing process course. Last summer, he invited three of his students – junior Omar Ruiz, and seniors Dave Nguyen and Kyle Florek to gain a hands-on knowledge of the Mastercam Educational Suite to enhance their teaching experience. Kyle enjoyed not only meeting fellow instructors and learning about their different backgrounds but also learning from Mastercam experts real advanced toolpaths and other features of the software that he might not otherwise have known existed! He will apply his newfound experience to some mold making projects for various student organizations. David enjoyed taking a design idea and actually creating a program to make the finished part he envisioned. Omar learned all of the ins and outs of Mastercam from lots of people who have been in CAD/CAM for a while.

The Summer Teacher Training program offers several courses for different experience levels and interests ranging from Fundamentals which is designed for someone with no experience in CAD/CAM to Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS (now included with the Educational Suite) to Mastercam Art. It is a fun way to learn the intricacies of bringing a part from design to production. “I’m having fun,” says David. “It doesn’t feel like I’m working. You know, that’s the best kind of job you’ll have – to have fun while you work.” Lesson well-learned!
To learn more about Mastercam Summer Teacher Training and to register, click here

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