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Students excited over new electives being offered
After being the recipient of a technology grant, Crook County School District offers classes in manufacturing, engineering, and design
Billy Hall, the new Manufacturing and Engineering instructor at CCHS and CCMS, stands by an engraving machine in the recently-remodeled classroom at the high school.
October 04, 2012
A new manufacturing and design class at Crook County High School appears to be a hit with students, and there is plenty of hands-on technology to go along with the curriculum.
In the spring of this year, Crook County School District was the recipient of a career and technical education grant, which made it possible to establish a manufacturing program at Crook County High School, and an engineering class at Crook County Middle School. Crook County competed with 43 other districts for the grant, and was awarded $234,900 to set up the program.
The students have access to a plasma cutter, a large milling machine, a lathe, a laser engraver, a three-D modeler, and a graphics cutter. The two associated classes at the high school are Introduction to Manufacturing and Design I.
Mark Monroe, a senior at CCHS, is in the Design I morning class.
“After we get done creating all of our design, we go into the program Rhinoceros,” said Monroe. “Once we use that, we can 3-D model it and put it into a perspective that you can see with a computer.”
In addition to using the industry-standard software program Rhinoceros 3D, the students will also be using Solid Works.
Monroe said he is hoping to expand his ideas on creating models and designs.
Jeremy Vargo, a sophomore, chose the class because he wanted to try something new for an elective.
“I am enjoying how I can create things that I have never been able to create before,” commented Vargo. “This class will help me out in the future by giving me skills for jobs like welding or technical design.”
Vargo said he can see himself having a future in this vocation, and it has helped him become more focused.
In addition to remodeling costs, curriculum, and technology, the grant covers the instructor’s wages for the first year of the program. Crook County School board member Scott Cooper confirmed that part of the grant agreement included a $70,000 commitment from the district to provide an instructor at least one year beyond the 2012-2013 school year.
The successful applicant for the position was Billy Hall, and this is his first year as a full-time instructor. Hall’s background in manufacturing came from the manufacturing and fabricating work he did while serving as an Army Ranger, and he grew up on a farm, so he received a lot of practical experience working on equipment.
“Going through school, I paid my way through school building horse trailers and stock trailers,” said Hall.
He also teaches one engineering class at the middle school the last period of the day.
“I’ve only heard positive things so far,” said CCMS Principal Stacy Smith. “It is nice to have this offering for our students and we appreciate the work that Rocky (Miner) and Michelle (Jonas) did to get this program started.”
“Kids are really enjoying it,” said Hall of the engineering class.