Bay Area Maker Educator Meetup Hosted at CAIS

February 14, 2019

Demonstrating the Phanachet Design Lab's vacuum former

This month, Design Lab Director Jason Mickelson hosted the monthly Bay Area Maker Meetup at our Phanachet Design Lab. Designed to support maker educators, these meetups provide opportunities for educators to share ideas, provide support, network, and — most importantly — do a little making!

During the meetup, Mr. Mickelson described CAIS’s Design Technology program and shared tips about how he sets up and manages the Phanachet Design Lab. In addition, he guided educators through an activity using a vacuum former, a device used for making custom molds. Participants experimented with materials ranging from LEGOs and cardboard to 3D printed shapes and hand-cut potato wedges for use as molds in the vacuum former. Attendees left with a deepened understanding of CAIS’s Design Technology program, plus some unique custom molds for shaping chocolates, soap, or jello at home!

Mr. Mickelson shares, “We are always looking for new tools that spark exploration and creativity in the Lab. Planning and shaping successful forms for mold-making involves geometry and interaction between hot and cold air pressure—not to mention a lot of variety of tools and materials to tinker with. It’s another low floor (easy to access) / high ceiling (experiment and practice to master) tool that encourages the problem-solving and creative confidence we want in our young designers.”