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Funding will be used to create a high school innovation lab, which will offer engineering classes

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Scappoose High School teacher Ed Budrow explains the difference between two different 3D printers the high school now uses and how the printed products vary in quality. The school recently received a new Statysys F170 printer through a partnership with Portland Community College, which will also be used in the high school's fabrication and innovation lab currently being developed.UPDATED: The Scappoose School District received more than $423,000 in grant funding from the Oregon Department of Education and the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which will be used to fund the creation of a high school technology innovation lab.

The district was one of 32 grant recipients across the state to earn funding from the Career and Technical Innovation Grant program, which awarded $10.3 million to be used in schools throughout Oregon, according to a Monday, Dec. 4, press release from ODE.

In Scappoose, the school district proposes creating a high school tech lab called the SHS Innovation Center, which would be used to offer classes related to 2D and 3D engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship, research and design work, software and product output work, and internships, according to grant proposal documents.

The idea is to establish an engineering program at the high school that would create a pipeline for students who are familiar with engineering concepts to transition into an apprenticeship program at the burgeoning Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center, a major advanced manufacturing and innovation research and development facility under development in Scappoose.

Additionally, the school district proposes to use a portion of the grant to provide a supplemental summer program for middle school students.

A total $336,286 from the grant will be allocated for the high school lab, while $87,169 is slated for the summer program.

With the most recent grant funding, the district has received just over $1.6 million, according to Interim Superintendent Ron Alley. The funding has come from various sources, including funding from a Portland Community College partnership, funding from voter-approved Measure 98 dollars, and the most recent grant award. But, all of the funding is aimed at building a more robust career and technical education program within the school district.

While the design of the lab space is still in its initial stages, district staff is working to pull together various components of the project, including the installation of two new CNC machines and a set of donated computers. A brand new Stratysys F170 3D printer has already found its place in the classroom, alongside the Makerbot Replicator 3D printer the school has been using for other classes.

Ed Budrow, a career and technical education teacher at Scappoose High School, will help launch a more robust engineering career and technical education program this year, starting with several 3D

printing and digital illustration electives offered in January.

In spring, Budrow will offer digital fabrication classes

and product development electives.

"It's a really exciting time to be working on these classes," Budrow said, noting that the grant makes it easier to acquire classroom equipment.

Budrow was quick to note that his classes will be taught in a way that compliments other courses already offered at the high school, like marketing, graphic design and other computer modeling classes. The hope is that students will be exposed to a wide range of the design and production processes through various course offerings.

Alley said the plan is to give students experiences in the world of engineering, advanced manufacturing and other similar programs while they are still in high school.

Alley was inspired by the OMIC concept when plans were first announced for the center and began working with various project leaders to develop what he called a "pre OMIC program." Recently, Alley has collaborated with Chris Holden, director of the PCC OMIC Training Center who was hired to the position in November, to refocus how the high school could create an engineering and manufacturing program that would act as

a feeder program for the center.

In the future, Budrow and Alley said they hope to partner with local industry to develop an internship program that would teach soft skills, including how to develop a good work ethic and complete tasks with a good attitude.

"It's anything we can do to prepare our kids for the workforce," Alley said.

Additionally, the Scappoose High School tech lab will serve as classroom space for PCC evening courses. The Scappoose High School robotics team, which meets after school, will be housed in the same workspace, and the students will work side by side in the lab, Alley said.

Funding for the CTE Revitalization Grant program comes from investments made in the Oregon Legislature from 2011 to 2015, according to the press release. Funding this year will support programs throughout the state focused on advanced manufacturing, engineering, aviation, robotics, home construction and renovation, biomedical science and agricultural science.

In 2016, the St. Helens School District received a $380,000 grant from the same program to launch ta renovation and remodeling program at St. Helens High School.

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