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Career Pathways — Manufacturing
        Page 12                                                                                                Electronic Edition:

                   Student Interest in Manufacturing Path Continues to Grow

                                                                                   A  key  part  of  the  program  is  partnering   get  into  college,  but  I  know  I  can  take  these
                                                                                with area businesses. So far, about eight com-  skills into the real world tomorrow . . . It really
                                                                                panies have offered facility tours and donated   translates to real life.”
                                                                                materials for the program. Last year, five local   Celotta  is  planning  to  attend  a  four-year
                                                                                companies  joined  forces  to  purchase  over   college  to  major  in  mechanical  engineering,
                                                                                $35,000 in equipment for the lab. Angell also   although he hasn’t decided on a school just yet.
                                                                                regularly reviews his curriculum and ideas for   No matter what he decides, he knows he will
                                                                                projects with industry partners to make sure he   be prepared.
                                                                                is on track with what the industry needs.  “Looking at a lot of these higher colleges
                                                                                   Senior  Tyler  Celotta  took  Project  Lead   and seeing the caliber and the level of equip-
                                                                                the  Way  (PLTW)  introduction  to  engineering   ment that they are using, this really gives me a
                                                                                course last year. This year, he is taking small   lot of confidence to be able to go in there and
                                                                                engines and welding. In the PLTW course, he   hold  my  own  against  incredibly  talented  stu-
                                                                                learned  about  the  engineering  design  process   dents,” Celotta explained.
                                                                                and  developing  products  in  computer-aided   “In middle school, I was never expecting
                                                                                design, or CAD.                    to be able to have access to the resources we
                                                                                   “Originally, when I was in middle school I   do, and I know a lot of kids don’t, but I feel
                                                                                had all of my courses prescribed to me, so when   really blessed and fortunate to have access to
                                                                                I got to high school and I was looking through   this. Now I know if I go to some of these labs,
                                                                                the course catalog, I thought that was insanely   I’m able to hold my own and understand the
        Shannon Granholm                    career-ready courses in general metals, metals   cool that I could do welding in high school,”   materials and get more out of the course rather
        Managing Editor, Quad Community Press  technology,  advanced  metal  technology  and   Celotta said. “As I progressed through my core   than  focusing  all  my  time  on  operating  the
            When  teacher  Andy  Angell  started   Cougar  Manufacturing,  a  high  school  career   class education, I realized like that I really like   machines.”
        working  in  the  Centennial  School  District  12   technical  education  class  that  gives  students   science, physics and math, so I took engineer-  Reprinted with permission from the Quad Com-
        years ago, his classroom looked very different.  hands-on  instruction  in  the  highly  demanded   ing and ended up really loving it.”  munity Press
            He  was  teaching  photography  and  video   engineering and manufacturing trades.  He has really enjoyed the courses because
        production. “The room that the shop is in right   The program will teach students skills the   they are hands-on and industry-based.
        now was actually a technology room; where our   industry  is  looking  for  while  giving  them  an   “When I take a math or English class, it is
        garage door is now was a green screen. Things   opportunity to explore career paths and options.  hard to see the translation into real-world issues
        have made a full 180,” Angell said.     “I think it’s important for kids at the high   and or careers. I know I need those classes to
            Around five years ago, Centennial Schools   school,  and  even  at  the  middle  school,  to  be
        began offering elective courses in manufactur-  thinking about their future,” Angell said. “Our
        ing. The offerings have continued to evolve as   education  system  is  so  focused  on  the  core
        more students have become interested in that   subject areas; a lot of kids just don’t know what   How To Make Almost Anything
        career path.                        they  know  … This  gives  them  exposure  into
            “We recognize that there is a huge need   some of those areas that are sought after and  Continued from Page 10
        and demand for skilled workers in this area,”   can be high-paid careers.”  here,” says Karen. “There are also careers for
        Angell  explained.  He  added  that  the  Lino   As an educator, Angell said his job is to get   CAD technicians. With a two-year degree, they
        Lakes/Blaine  area  happens  to  be  congested   students excited about the possibilities in manu-  can  earn  a  good  living  short  of  being  a  full
        with manufacturing companies that are seeking   facturing. “I could burn them out, doing all of   4-year degree engineer.”
        highly skilled workers.             the technical aspects of the welding test and how   For those who are more arts and less engi-
            The district began offering small engines   to get certified to be a welder, but I think that’s   neer, there is another path.
        and  robotics  classes. As  student  interest  con-  tech school’s job,” he said. “I want to get these   “When  students  spend  time  using  the
        tinued to grow and class enrollment grew, the   kids hooked in manufacturing, get them excited   pen tool in Adobe Illustrator, they really like
        course morphed into small engines and welding.   about it and then ultimately help them find that   the freedom of Adobe. It appeals more to the
        Beginning next year, the district will officially   next step from here, whether it is right to a job,   artists,” says Karen. “For those who really like
        kick off its Manufacturing Pathways, a series of   or helping them get into a two-year program to
                                            further their education in manufacturing.”  using Adobe Illustrator, they often look at our
                                                                                design classes and graphic design or computer
                                                                                art through the art department,” says Karen.
                                                                                   From  How  to  Make  Almost  Anything,
                                                                                students  can  go  deeper  into  engineering,  art,
                                                                                design  or  try  out  something  totally  differ-
                                                                                ent. Before they move on, they get to bask in
                                                                                some  success  and  share  their  work.  Projects
                                                                                are  posted  online  and  students  “vote”  and
                                                                                comment on the projects they thought were the   ear buds, a chess set, and her personal favorite,
                                                                                best. Alex’s heart shaped puzzle was voted 3rd   keycaps.
                                                                                for the 3D printing project.           “A  student  was  learning  Japanese  so  he
                                                                                   “The puzzle turned out really well,” says   made caps for the keyboard to help him be able
                                                                                Alex. “I even forgot how to do it. It had me   to type in Japanese,” says Karen shaking her
                                                                                stumped and then I figured it out.”  head. “Now, that was a fun one.”
                                                                                   For Karen, it’s amazing to see what kids
                                                                                figure out. She has shelves dedicated to some
                                                                                of the best and most intricate or complex proj-
                                                                                ects.  There  are  amazing  examples.  There’s  a
                                                                                rocket pencil case, an AT-AT (from Star Wars),
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