Just like the first innovators who were inspired by the cithara, teachers from all across the United States learned how to build electric guitars using the STEM Guitar Building Institute last week in Tampa at the Erwin Technical Center.
“I’m so energized about going back to my class, being able to incorporate what I’m learning here today,” said Tim Nolan, an educator at Freedom High School in Hillsborough County, Florida.
The idea behind the workshop is to not only motivate teachers for the upcoming school year, but to inspire them. It’s meant to help them come up with innovative new techniques to teach students about the disciplines of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
“The basic mathematics start with geometry in terms of the design of the instrument, that can be the headstock,” said STEM Guitar Building Institute’s Thomas Singer. “We can also use algebra on the fret board. The spacing of the frets is algebraic but it’s also logarithmic.”
According to the STEM Guitar Building Institute’s website, the course covers 16 activities, including ones on Computer Aided Design (CAD) & Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), electronics, Fret Spacing Calculation, Guitar Anatomy and Cost Estimation, Guitar Body Geometry, Intonation, Threaded Fasteners, Tolerances in Engineering Drawings, Wood for Guitars and more.
So far the STEM Guitar Building Institute has impacted more than 4,600 students across the country. At its current rate, the project will realistically be able to hit its goal of reaching more than 19,000 students by 2016.
In just five days, the educators completed what will be a 16-week long course for students. Though the course was intensive as the result of these time constraints, teachers say that it’s well worth it if it helps students get excited to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.