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Hawkin's Engineering class constructs wooden battery holders for calculators


7 plywood boxes with "West High Calculator Battery Storage" engraved on the front of each
7 plywood boxes with "West High Calculator Battery Storage" engraved on the front of each

Mr. Hawkins’ Digital Electronics class partnered with Mrs. Houston to construct wooden battery holders for the calculators in the math department. This project serves as valuable experience for the Digital Electronics students as part of their Computer Numerical Control machine study and provides a convenient solution to the safety concerns surrounding storing calculator batteries.


Each battery holder is constructed with ⅛” plywood. This type of wood was chosen due to its high durability and resistance to cracking and warping. Students made the design for these boxes in a computer program called “Aspire,” and a CO2 laser from an AP Lazer was used to cut the shape of each piece of plywood. This laser cut the plywood into easily assemblable pieces, which were designed through a series of revisions by the students.


Hawkins believes that the skills students honed while participating in this study will directly translate into the professional world, stating, “These skills will apply directly to anyone in a technical field. The students had to take measurements, make calculations and drawings, modify them, transform the drawings for the laser to use, set up the laser, cut the boards then glue the boards together to make the boxes.” These skills are all a part of the engineering process and can be applied to a wide variety of projects.


A plywood box with "West High Calculator Battery Storage" engraved on the front
A plywood box with "West High Calculator Battery Storage" engraved on the front

The top of a plywood box with "Batteries In/Out" engraved
The top of a plywood box with "Batteries In/Out" engraved

The layout of the battery storage boxes
The layout of the battery storage boxes

The AP Lazer machine used to cut each piece of plywood to be assembled into boxes
The AP Lazer machine used to cut each piece of plywood to be assembled into boxes

The inside of the AP Lazer machine
The inside of the AP Lazer machine

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