Hands-on training at Area 30

Friday, October 13, 2006

Several students at the Area 30 Career Center are getting hands-on training with more integrated computer programming this year.

Seventeen students at the center enrolled in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing program, a class offered through the help of Project Lead the Way.

On Tuesday, class instructor Brian Gardner explained to the Area 30 Career Center board how the class works.

"This is probably the most hands-on class that the students get to take," Gardner said.

On Tuesday, Gardner and three South Putnam High School students showed the board what they are currently working on.

The students, Jon Weaver, Ben Parker and Brad Eickhoff, displayed a computer-programmed car they had recently constructed while also recently taking part in an assembly line-based project.

Gardner said the students in the class have been working on making items out of blocks through an assembly line in groups of two.

"You actually have to talk and communicate," Gardner said.

Gardner showed the board Tuesday an example, placing a block of wood in a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) mill. Based on a program, the CNC mill created a Superman logo on the block of wood.

Gardner said students learn how to use the CNC mill and a robotic arm used in the process through a 3-D simulation program in the system.

"This is an example of one of the latest programs we have," said Area 30 Career Center Executive Director Michael Walton.

"I think this is a wonderful opportunity," added board president Murray Pride.

In other business, the board:

-- Unanimously approved to let Area 30 Career Center Assistant Director Lora Wood and instructor Nancy Mendenhall attend the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Convention and Career Tech Expo on Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Atlanta. The event will be paid for through Perkins Grant funding.

-- Approved four students in the Auto Service Department to go to Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, Ill., on Nov. 11 for an out-of-state field trip. Area 30 will provide transportation and the chaperone on the trip will be Auto Service Instructor Deno Garzonlini.

-- Heard a curriculum development update from Wood.

-- Heard a school safety update from Wood.

-- Approved the hiring of Jessica Pesola as a part-time jail teaching assistant, effective Oct. 4. Pesola's salary will be paid by a federal grant.

-- Approved October financial reports.

-- Learned that Pride would speak to the Greencastle Rotary on Oct. 18.

-- Heard an update from Walton on the Indiana Rural Council Development Grant.

-- Heard an update from Walton on the center's field trip procedure.

The board meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Nov. 14.

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