Applying Laser Cutting Techniques Through Horology for Teaching Effective STEM in Design and Technology

Lewis C.R. Jones, John R. Tyrer, Nigel P. Zanker
2013, Vol. 18, No. 3,


This paper explores the pedagogy underpinning the use of
laser manufacturing methods for the teaching of science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at key
stage 3 design and technology. Clock making (horology)
has been a popular project in design and technology
(D&T) found in many schools, typically it focuses on
aesthetical design elements. This paper describes a new
project, which has been developed to enhance the STEM
content of a horology project through advanced utilisation
of laser cutting machinery. It allows pupils to produce their
own products from self-made mechanical timing
mechanisms. The central aim is to strengthen the
application of the underlying technology of mechanisms
and the manufacturing capability of laser cutting
technology in D&T.
Trials with schools have shown success in gaining pupils’
interest in STEM and provided feedback to improve the
project. It has highlighted limits when delivering the
engineering and maths content with teachers from nontechnology
backgrounds. The paper discusses this
limitation through subject pedagogy, categorisation of
teacher knowledge, and teaching effectiveness through
experiential and problem-based learning approaches.


technology, teacher knowledge, problem-based learning, pxperiential learning, pction research, STEM

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