SHS Takes STEAM with Brookstone

Evmorfia Alton, Contributing Author


In a world where technology is the new frontier, high school students must learn to adapt to the changing world around them.  With college and careers in the near future, it is crucial to familiarize them with the companies and technological advances in their future job options. The math coaches at Souhegan High School created a project to bring together a major corporation, Brookstone, and the students enrolled in Math 3 courses.  Students under the guidance of Brookstone professional designers and their teachers were able to create their own 3D models using a professional online design program.  

The project was introduced by Stephen Mills the OVP at Brookstone Labs, Rob Mcculloch the Industrial Design Manager and Spencer Trafton the Senior Industrial Designer.  They have all been working with Brookstone for many years and are well versed in the world of industrial design.  This project required students to draft sketches drawn to scale, calculate the appropriate measurements to accurately print a 3D shape and actually design their own ornament. The ornaments with the best design were selected to actually be 3D printed.

Amy Provencal-McGuigan is the Instructional Math Coach at Souhegan High School. “For the last two summers,  SHS has run a STEAM institute for science, engineering, math, tech and art teachers of Souhegan. The institute focuses on Big Data, Design, Robotics, and Tech that support the implementation of a solid STEAM program for all students. This 3D design project was one of the results of that institute,” said Provencal-McGuigan.

Two of the men who presented had majored in Art. I heard an AP Calc student leave the theatre saying to another, ‘I think I need to take an art course next year!'”

— Amy Provencal-McGuigan

Regarding the project, Provencal-McGuigan later went on to say, “The emphasis is on the word ALL in ‘all students’. It is important to us to have our math students use this technology in their regular math class, not just a few students exposed to this work in elective courses. The Brookstone folks shared with our kids that jobs in product design are in demand. Our curriculum in Core 3 which now starts the beginnings of calculus and rotational geometry was the perfect place to allow the majority of juniors and many sophomores to experience this type of work. I applauded the speakers for unintentionally discussing how much collaboration they do, the amount of trial and error while problem-solving and the knowledge they gain from making mistakes. These are habits we try to instill in all of our math students.  Two of the men who presented had majored in Art. I heard an AP Calc student leave the theatre saying to another, ‘I think I need to take an art course next year!'”

Having the ability to use advanced technology in a cutting-edge way as high school students exposes them to not only more STEAM but also the Arts. Those two fields, although unlikely companions, come hand in hand with many of the modern world jobs and college courses students will experience in the future. This 3D design project is an outstanding example of how Souhegan High School looks to give their students the best possible teachings and experiences to prepare them for the real world.