Text and photos by Kathryn Harmon
Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School is home to the aptly named Institute for Idea Generation & Manufacturing, or I4IGM for short. This crew of 20+ students meets after school one day every week to explore amazing new technologies and make all sorts of things. Our website describes some of the goals for our club:
This club was formed with the goal of creating and building amazing things. We want to code, we want to print cool things on the 3D printer, we are enthusiastic about participating in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge.
This year we joined FIRST LEGO League and sent a team to competition. Now we are putting together teams that will compete next year.
We created and printed stickers on our Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter. We learned to model 3D objects on 123D design. Learning to loft, revolve, and extrude our drawings was particularly exciting, and knowing these and other CAD terms will be helpful in high school and college. Our volunteer mentor Mark Balmer taught us to build circuits and program Arduinos, so we created a flashy poster for one of our school board members. The printed vinyl from our Silhouette Cameo also creates wonderful stencils for screen printing, and this Spring we will be printing our very own I4IGM t-shirts for every member.
Our STREAMlab is in a room adjacent to our library which is wonderful as it makes this space very much the heart of our school, and students can spread out and work in small groups to solve problems and build their ideas.
If you would like to keep up with us, visit us at our website: i4igm.wordpress.com.
Kathryn Harmon is the Library Media Specialist for Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School, and coordinates the I4IGM Afterschool Technology Club. She also serves as her district’s liaison to the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.