Finished Fantasy: Renovations to the Engineering Room

Conversations about the need for engineering room renovations at Edison High started in 2017. However, visible changes did not begin for at least another year. Before the renovations, most of the equipment was outdated, hindering students’ projects and limiting curriculum for the STEM Academy and other technology classes.  

“The room before was dilapidated, with damaged tables and old chairs. Thankfully, small improvements such as better tables and a new laser cutter entered over the first two years of my time in high school. Now, the new equipment is much improved from before,” said Ali Ahmed ’22.

During the entire renovation process, the five main phases included painting, furniture, flooring, cabinetry, and assembling engineering modules. Ceilings and walls were painted, lighting was set up, flooring was changed, cabinets were replaced, a new air conditioning system was installed, and new modules were added. In addition, display boards and televisions were placed on the walls. Some specific additions to the modules are two mechatronics labs (electrical and mechanical engineering usages), a robotic arm, TVs, and a laser cutter. The school wanted more labs in the engineering room to provide students with opportunities to interact with equipment and complete intricate projects. Overall, the room has been altered to keep up with the 21st century technology. 

These additional advancements were promised to students and the staff in 2017 and only started in late August, right before school opened for the 2021-2022 year. All the improvements were finalized during the first week of September. 

“On the first day of school that year, we were told the room was being renovated and should be done by winter break. Barely any work happened that school year, and then COVID hit, and the room was still being renovated when we got back. I’m just glad to see it’s finally done,” said Avinash Aravind ‘23. 

After receiving new materials from universities, the engineering room is now on par with many modules that are currently used at cutting-edge labs.

“I’m glad that all engineering students at EHS will get an opportunity to work with the latest and greatest of engineering technology,” said Ahmed.

Overall, the room had been altered to keep up with the technology of the 21st century.”

Since additional time was required to fix the cabinets and arrange other aspects of the room, students attended class in the library for the first few days of the school year. After returning to the engineering room, another week of work was required for the room to be organized for students. However, the projector and monitors were still not set up and various technical issues arose, forcing Mr. Kevin Kerins, engineering teacher at EHS, to adjust his lesson plans. Even with inoperative equipment, he was able to create class plans for his students using slideshows and pamphlets. Now, with equipment intact, many of his classes have started projects in ergonomics and tasks using the laser cutter. 

Kerins helped design and set up the room and is pleased with the results.

“Oh, I love it! We are very fortunate to have had the support from the administration to bring our classroom up to speed. From the engineering models to the equipment, I appreciate this support. The room is the best I have ever seen in my past eighteen years of teaching here,” said Kerins.

Freshmen from the STEM Academy confirmed that the engineering room is far more updated, compared to their middle school technology classes. Students did not have access to up-to-date equipment in their past classrooms, forcing them to complete minor projects. Now, new and more complex projects will be integrated into the curriculum, giving students insight into real-world challenges for which they design solutions.