By Elyana Schosek, Student Reporter

In the past, students at Springville-Griffith High School with an interest in and passion for technology have been somewhat limited regarding what they could create.


That limit is now expanding thanks to the formation of a tech club for high school students.


Jonathan Shelley, a technology teacher at Springville-Griffith Institute (SGI), has been in Springville for three years and taught at Grand Island High School nine years prior. Shelley oversaw two clubs at Grand Island: a tech club and an aviation club.


The purpose of starting Tech Club at SGI is to give students who are genuinely interested in the many aspects of technology more opportunities to create. 


“Some of the projects would be too expensive to run in a traditional class, others would simply be too big or take too much time to complete,” Shelley said. “This club is going to allow these projects to happen.”


Shelley said there are currently eight students in the club. 


“We are keeping our number small this year so that the club is easier to manage in the beginning,” he added.


One of those students is senior Michael Spagnola, who has been involved in the technology department at the high school since his freshman year. He has taken various classes in this department including DDP, Tech 1 and Robotics. 


DDP is essentially an intro class to the department to help students determine if it is something they would like to continue with. Tech 1 allows students to “work on high-level projects with advanced students and use problem-solving to improve and design projects using 3D programs,” Michael said.


“I have taken a multitude of tech classes in my years of high school in order to further my education in topics similar to engineering and designing,” he explained. Michael plans on studying engineering in college.  


Shelley mentioned that although having previous experience with some of the tools in the department will give students an advantage in Tech Club, it is not something that is required. Next year, the club will be open to all students at the high school.  


“Currently the club has two projects. One of which being a three-foot-long tank that will have an air cannon,” Shelley said. “The other being a 38” octocopter or drone that we are creating from scratch.” 


Due to the expensive nature of the projects, fundraising for the club is needed. Once the Board of Education approves the club’s ideas, the students will begin working on that. 


“So far we have decided to utilize the CNC laser to engrave drinking glasses, make coasters and engrave other custom orders for customers,” Michael said.


The club meets as a whole on Tuesdays after school, but the students are welcome to come down and work anytime during the day, many of whom take advantage of this.  


The goals of the club for this year are to “start raising some funding to allow these students to create bigger and better projects,” Shelley said. He said the club’s long-term goal is, “Down the road, this club should be able to raise enough funding to help our technology program when it is in need of additional funding for tools and projects.”  


Shelley said he feels the club will not only increase the knowledge of those involved but that it will also give them essential skills such as communication, teamwork, honesty, work ethic, problem-solving, money management and a set of technical competency.  


“I enjoy the limitless possibilities that technology allows for and how technology can affect our future,” Michael said as his reason for enjoying technology as much as he does. He also mentioned that “being in Tech Club will prepare me for college in some ways because of how advanced the projects are and what kind of abilities are utilized. I have become very experienced with Inventor (a design software) and that allows me to design objects for projects that need to be 3D printed.” 


Beginning any type of club at any school is a considerable undertaking, but Shelley said he’s willing to do it to help his students advance their knowledge of technology.