Manufacturing classes get green light

January 11, 2012

From shawanoleader.com: “Manufacturing classes get green light” — The Bonduel School Board on Monday approved six new high school courses, including one that will utilize a mobile technology lab, for the 2012-13 school year.

The Computer Integrated Manufacturing Mobile Lab is designed to engage students earlier in the field of manufacturing and is equipped with the latest computer manufacturing technology used at most foundries and other industries. It is sponsored by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Bay Area Workforce Development Board, Wisconsin Job Center and Lakeshore Technical College.

“This technology is very expensive for a school to purchase and the lab provides districts a chance to give kids the opportunity to experience the different technology,” said Patrick Rau, high school principal.

Utilizing the 44-foot mobile lab will cost the district $5,000 per semester. Students will utilize equipment such as the Haas computer numerical control (CNC) lathe, Haas CNC mill, 13 computers and an interactive SMART board.

“It’s really a good deal when you consider that the technology in there is over $100,000 worth of equipment,” said Mark Weber, dean of trades and engineering technologies at NWTC. “The cost to (school districts) is basically going to recoup diesel fuel and lab aids, so we’re just trying to cover the operating costs to bring it to them.”

Established as electives in the technology department, the courses — CNC Fundamentals 1 and 2 — will be open to Bonduel upperclassmen. The courses will run for an entire year and earn students both high school and college credit.

The lab will accommodate two groups of 12 students for a four-hour session at the school.

“It’s always been a challenge to connect industry with the schools, and these are the same machines that are in industry today,” said Travis Schindel, BHS technology teacher. “It’s a great opportunity for our students. There’s money to be made in this type of career.”

Schindel will be the course’s instructor. He will work with a CNC lab aide who drives the lab to the school each week.

The board also approved a new Cutting Edge Technology course, which will emphasize how to effectively use computers and digital media technologies as tools to enhance learning and skill development.

Other new classes will be peer tutoring, zero-hour fitness, college readiness and technical math prep.

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