Students will explore several applications of automation technology. Students will first be introduced to the Arduino Microcontroller. After learning about the electronics theory and basic electronic components they will build electric circuits on a solderless breadboard and use the C++ programming language to make these circuits interactive. Next, students will program the Arduino to control robotic vehicles that will navigate through a maze. The second form of automation students explore is CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) with the aid of a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) router. Students will use SolidWorks software to create 3D models. They will then use MasterCam software to generate a toolpath, a process in which the lines of the drawing are converted to the cutting path that the machine will follow.
Students are given an overview of many of the fundamentals of graphic communication. The communication process is discussed as it relates to graphics as well as other forms of communication. The elements and principles of design are introduced as they relate to the projects that the students complete. Students learn about editing digital photographs using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Microsoft Publisher is used to complete a variety of desktop publishing projects, including flyers, greeting cards and posters. Wacom digital drawing tablets are integrated with Corel Painter Essentials to allow students to freehand draw directly into the computer to create their own custom images for use in projects. Students learn how to incorporate various graphics, student created as well as stock images into their projects. Students are able to output their designs using a black and white laser printer, a color laser printer and a laser engraver. A laser engraver is a machine capable of transforming images and designs into real items made of a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, fabric, glass, leather, stone and ceramic. Students are encouraged to help each other with design and technical issues throughout the course.
Students are introduced to web design through HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) coding. Students develop graphic layouts for personal interest web sites using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Each element of the layout is then coded for web display using HTML 5 and animated using both CSS 3.0 and JavaScipt. Upon completion, students can request that their websites be made public so they can view them from outside the school.
In eighth grade art a more student directed approach is used where lessons will revolve around student personalities, interests, beliefs and ideas. Style, media, inspiration will be explored and students will have the benefit of more choices and decision making so as to begin to discover their own particular style as an artist.