Note: The following post was written by Carlos, one of our awesome HackSchool students.
We were in the parking lot of the Colorado School of Mines. There were about 30 or so of us plus a few teachers.
While we were walking into the college I couldn't help but be fascinated by it. I had only ever been inside that college once (aside from that day) and I didn't remember much about it.
Once we were inside we waited in what seemed to be a sort of quiet environment where the (I am guessing) the college students can come to work in peace. I was actually pretty excited that day too.
We would get to see some pretty cool technology that I never even dreamed that I would ever get to see. I had seen the 3-D printer that we now own at HackSchool (which I find fascinating) but other than that I had never seen anything else. So when the college professor came to where we were waiting and directed us to where we would get to see all this great technology I couldn't help but be a bit excited.
So when we walked into what seemed to be small room with a fair amount of machines over the place you can probably imagine my slight disappointment, but as they say "never judge a book by it's cover" because I would later see truly how great everything in there was. Soon after we went into the room we had a short introduction (there were I believe 4 other college students in the room with us) and then we broke up into groups where each individual group would get to see one thing then rotate so we would get to see everything they had in store for us.
After the groups were made we were taken to see an actual rover they were making to send to Mars! I remember not actually understanding half the words that were told to us, but the simple presence of the rover had me amazed at what they were building. Sure it looked like a bunch of metal now (as they had not finished it yet) but soon that piece of metal could be on Mars!
We were then led into another room with even more machines I had never seen in my life before. There, one of the college students that seemed to be working there at the time told us about the machines and although I didn't understand half of the things he talked about I was fully captivated. After hearing about a couple of the machines we were taking into the next thing we would get to see which were the 3-D printers. They looked pretty familiar to us as we did own one in the school, but these had the capability of even more than ours did. Plus we saw one 3-D printer that was giant in comparison to ours (and the majority of theirs) which they told us it cost over $100,000 (it was much more than 100k but I can't exactly remember what it was, around 100k- 250k I believe is what they told us). We got to see some of the stuff they had printed, including a working wrench, an octopus (surprisingly more than one), and the skull of a dinosaur.
After that we got to see a 3-D model scanner which actually scanned whatever it was pointed to which created a 3-D model on the screen. The accurateness of the model was probably one of the coolest things I had ever seen (until I got to see the laser cutters).
Finally after that we got to see what was probably my favorite thing of the whole trip, the Laser cutters. When I think of laser cutters the first thing that actually comes to mind is the spy movies were they use laser pointers to break through something. So when I actually got to see a laser cut through the material they were using to make us the name tags, I was just speechless.
After that we all got back together, enjoyed some pizza, got to ask the college students some question, and then got on our way back to the school.