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CTE students “get right to work”
CTE students “get right to work”
Posted on 10/27/2020
Student working on computer

Students in UCS Career and Technical Education programs did not waste any time being back in the classroom.

“They went right to work as soon as they walked right in the door,” said Mark LaCombe, the Academy coach at the Stevenson Center for Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering. “We have laid a lot of groundwork for them and today is a productive day.”

Across the district, CTE students returned to the classroom as part of a gradual plan districtwide to transition smaller groups of students safely.

The process began Oct. 5 when select special education programs were reopening for classroom instruction.

Because of its hands-on learning emphasis, CTE programs were among the first high school programs being brought back for in-person instruction.

“I feel more motivated to be in the lab with the robots and teachers helping us,” said junior Solomon Hirmz.

LaCombe said enhanced safety measures are in place to support health and wellness for staff, including more space and splitting students into two cohort groups, the use of face coverings, and regularly using sanitizer and disinfectant.

“It’s planned well, we are ready, and it’s safe to come back,” LaCombe said.

Developed by a team of UCS staff and area business leaders, Stevenson MADE students are immersed in the Design Thinking Process (empathy, define, ideate, prototype, and test) through projects in small learning communities.

Each core class – mathematics, social studies, English and science – use similar strategies that connect the subject area to the academy’s pathways of fabrication, automation and design engineering.

Over the past six months, the program has been recognized at state and national levels for innovation and overall excellence.

Junior Halie Evans said the program will give her direct experience that will give her an advantage for her future career in automation.

“I feel it gives us a lot of real-life opportunities,” she said “This is stuff that we will use every day on the job.”