By Ely Schosek
High school has a number of characteristics that have always been associated with it, but in the last few decades, some of that has changed. For instance, the way students learn has changed — a lot more assignments are done online. This has all resulted from technological advances.
In regard to technology, the department at Springville-Griffith Institute High School includes much more than just woodworking.
Most students who are interested in technology start with the Introduction to Technology class also called Design & Drawing for Production (DDP).
After DDP, students usually move onto Technology I. In Tech I, students further their knowledge from DDP through more complex projects. The course teaches students concepts of engineering that can be applied to solving “real world” problems.
“We will consider case study abstracts related to safety, computer automation and control, energy, communications, structural design and designing technology for people with disabilities,” the school’s curriculum guide stated. Additionally, the course can be used as a third unit of math or science required for graduation.
One of the more advanced courses in the department is the CAD-CAM class, also known as Computer Aided Design & Computer Aided Manufacturing. It is a class that looks at the history, components, applications, design functions and career opportunities within computer-aided design.
“Emphasis is placed on the use of computer technology and an understanding of the changing role of CAD and its effects on the design and manufacturing process,” the curriculum guide stated. “CAM develops a base of knowledge related to the manufacturing industry’s robots and their uses.” Equipment such as the 3D printer and (computer controlled) CNC router and mill.
SGI also offers two fine woodworking classes, both are whole year classes that students can take after their freshman year. One class is classified by “cabinet,” whereas, the other is classified by “table.” The courses recognize the changes that have occurred in the way wooden products are manufactured.
“Brainstorming, library research, problem solving, modeling, prototype production and other skills are developed,” noted the curriculum guide. Each student will leave the class with several of their own wooden projects.
As a sophomore, students have access to more classes especially in the Tech Department; there are numerous half-year classes including: Small Engine, Welding, Introduction to Robotics, Introduction to Video Game Design and Development, Architecture and Aerospace.
In Small Engine, students are exposed to the basic workings of Briggs and Stratton small engines. Over the course of the class, each student will fully disassemble, reassemble and run two new engines. “Four stroke and two stroke theory will be examined under close detail as well as carburetion and the Venturi effect,” the curriculum guide stated.
The Welding course teaches students the basics of welding and fabricating. Each individual will learn how to properly set up a MIG welder. “Students will also be taught proper techniques for cutting, bending and fabricating metal with a special focus on safety.” As an extra assignment in class, students are allowed to bring in their own small projects to work on.
As with most of the Technology courses, Introduction to Robotics is a hands on class. It introduces students to the basic concepts of robotics. There is a focus on the construction and programming of autonomous mobile robots. “Course information will be tied to lab experiments; students will work in groups to build and test increasingly more complex mobile robots, culminating in an end-of-semester robot contest.”
SGI’s Introduction to Video Game Design and Development class invites students to use their passion for video games in a more productive way, possibly even to prepare them for a career in the industry. The course introduces students to every aspect of the game-design process. “From there, it’s on to a series of increasingly challenging hands-on projects that teach all the elements of successful game development.”
In the Architecture course, students will gain a comprehensive overview of the field of architectural engineering. “The course focuses on the design and planning of residential and commercial structures.” CAD software is utilized in the class to allow students to create the proper plans. Other aspects of the course include project planning, scale models, artistic rendering and student presentations.
Last, but certainly not least, is SGI’s Aerospace class which allows students to study technologies used in aviation, defense systems and space exploration. “The course explores the evolution of flight, flight fundamentals, navigation and control, aerospace materials, propulsion, space travel, ergonomics, remotely operated systems and related careers.”
Overall, SGI students have access to huge opportunities in the Technology Department and it is important for them to know that.