Hi Spartans. I miss you all. This unique situation we find ourselves in has provided us extra time at home. My dogs now get three walks a day! Below are some ideas you can do to keep occupied. They are not graded or in any way mandatory. Just have fun and explore. Use your creative and brilliant minds. Also, if you are making something and have a question ask your mom, dad, gramma etc. to email me with you.I LOVE answering and helping Tech Ed questions. I'll reply ASAP.

As far as grades...there will be no new grades assigned. The grades posted will be your grade unless there is a policy change. The projects we started in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are unfortunately unfinished. BUT, when we come back to school we will get creative and will find a way to rectify. I want you to have your projects. You have worked too hard to not have them!

Be sure to take notice of the flowers that have started to bloom. Stay safe. Be a listener. Be a thinker. I will see you before you know it.

-Mr. Mainwaring 

PS: If I could give you a Jolly Rancher I would!                     

Now... Let's MAKE SOMETHING!!!

Design Challenge – Kitchen Gadget (Copy and paste this onto a word doc!)


This week's design challenge is going to have you trying to improve something in your kitchen.  Is there a way to make the fork better?  how about the oven? Blender?  You can pick any item that is in your kitchen.  If you need ideas, maybe ask your parents if they have a problem with an item in the kitchen and you can try to design a solution. 


  1. What kitchen item have you chosen to improve?





  2. What is the problem that you are designing a solution for?





  3. List at least three ways you can solve this problem.





  4. Choose one of these solutions and create a detailed sketch, model, or prototype for your solution and put a picture here.






  5. After completing this design challenge, is there any other item that you can think of innovating inside or outside the kitchen?

1. If you are lucky enough to have a PC with internet, you can download software called VCarvePro for free.

Next, scroll above to "Files and Documents" on this page. Download the "NAMEPLATE" file. The file will walk you through, step-by-step how to make your own nameplate. Create a personal plate that best describes an important aspect of a character trait that defines who you are. You can only use 6-8 letters or numbers. Once you're done, take a screenshot/picture and ask whoever is watching you send it to me!

If you are not able to download VCarve, no problem! Draw your nameplate on a piece of paper. Have a picture taken and whoever is watching you email me, use snail mail, or hold you can hold on to it.

Whatever method you decide on, we will use our our super fancy CNC machine to create your nameplate from a nice piece of wood you choose when we see each other.

2. Legos? Sugar cubes? Wood blocks? Toothpicks?
Make some thing fun! A Star Wars spaceship!? Your dream house!? I'd love to see it! Next, if you have a PC and internet, go to the Isometric Drawing Tool website and try to re-create your masterpiece.

3. Make a Super Safety Poster! Spartans, remember how my room is decorated with previous students safety posters? Make your own and give it to me when we see each other next school year! I'll hang it with pride! 

4. Mr. Vaughan, another Tech Ed teacher at Marsteller MS shared this idea and I love it.  So, last but certainly not least, if you or a household member have a Prince William County library card, you can use the card number to access, which is an online learning platform. It has free step by step directions to learn numerous software programs. I’ve used it before and have found it extremely educational. Look into it. You won’t regret it! And of course, please share what you learn. Teachers love that kinda thing. :)


 Exploring, problem solving and creating! That's what we will do in class. With an emphasis on precision and attention to detail, our Saunders Spartans will increase their knowledge of tools, drafting, and CAD programs to create projects that hopefully they will keep in the years to come. A theme throughout each grade will be measurement and number sense. Your child will learn the difference between 5/8" and 3/16" for example.

6th Grade
Study areas in the Technology & Engineering Education production lab for the 6th grade include an introduction to mechanical drawing, CAD programming and basic woodworking. Each 6th grade class is with me for a 4.5 week rotation.
The Mechanical Drawing area is designed as a foundation course built on the key life skill of measurement.  This skill is used in almost every other mathematic, science, and elective course that that the student will likely experience.  Students are introduced to measurement, basic drawing tools and basic drawing techniques.  Through a series of measurement exercises and drawings, the students become more familiar with using the ruler, fractions, spatial relationships and abstract thought.

Introduction to INVENTOR: Inventor is a 3D CAD software program that offers professional-grade 3D mechanical design, documentation, and product simulations. We will begin learning and using the program and delve deeper in 7th and 8th grade. 
The basic woodworking area builds on the measurement skills from the drawing unit and introduces the students to basic industrial materials and practices.  Students will create a small woodworking project that requires the use of various hand and power tools to complete.  Safety is a priority, and reinforced regularly.  Familiarization with wood materials, a hands-on work environment and the ability to interpret verbal, drawn and written instructions allows students to express their academic knowledge in a creative way.
Materials needed- On a daily basis, students are expected to bring: a pencil, pen, agenda, an enthusiastic attitude and a willingness to learn.
Homework- There is no homework assigned to students in either Technology & Engineering Education class.  All projects/classwork is to be completed during class time.
Grading- Grades are cumulative throughout the entire course.  Grades are also earned through the construction of several hands-on, project-based problem solving activities.  Project grades in the production lab are based on individual drawings, performance benchmarks based on woodworking processes, and occasional written assignments.  Parents are encouraged to register for online access to the “Parent Portal” system where they may check on student progress at any time.  Separate from grades, students are also evaluated on their mastery of skills as assessed by the Virginia state competency list.  They can be found at:
Behavioral expectations / discipline- Students are expected to adhere to all guidelines as described in the Prince William County Code of Behavior.  Additionally, students must comply with the prescribed safety regulations as put forth in the Saunders Middle School Technology & Engineering Education Student Information and Safety Package.  Discipline procedures usually start with a verbal warning to the student.  Any further action would at minimum result in parental contact.  Depending on the severity and frequency of any infractions, detentions, discipline referrals and/or classroom removal procedures may also be utilized.


Students will make a Tic-Tac-Toe game using superb lumber. They are required to accurately measure and square sides of their project, wood stamp, use a router table, measure depths and diameters of holes, use a drill press, band sander, band saw, and learn to read dimensional drawings and translate the information onto their project. 7th graders will also learn in depth the milling and finishing process.


Students will make a beautiful keepsake box. They will problem solve, carefully measure, use hand tools and power tools, and use VCarve software to create a custom lid in their time in class. New skills, such rabbets, using wood glue to form tight bonds, and how to use parallel clamps are taught. Students will leave the class with a rudimentary understanding of woodworking, hand tools, machine tools as well as a basic understanding of the CAD program VCarve. Perhaps the most exiting aspect of this our time spent is your child will learn how to use our CNC machine. He/She will design and carve something to take home and keep on a nice piece of cherry, walnut, maple and even mahogany!