Canby High boasts new high-tech makerspace
Ever since Canby High School students returned to campus this spring, they've been enjoying the new state-of-the-art makerspace in the Applied Technology Center, which is filled with high-tech gadgets like 3D printers, laser cutters and more.
The project was five or six years in the making, according to Associate Principal Cari Sloan.
To prepare, for several years the school's career and technical education teachers have been attending conferences put on by the Association for CTE and have been collaborating with local industry leaders.
Between an influx of funds from the Student Success Act as well as several grants and furniture donated from Jeff Kruse of Integrated Healthcare Solutions, the makerspace was finally possible.
Now, under the leadership of Principal Greg Dinse and CTE department leader Todd Roberts, students from a variety of CHS classes have access to computers, 3D printers, laser cutters, computer numerical control milling machines, ultraviolet printers, vinyl printers, garment printers and drones.
"The Canby High School makerspace is growing from infancy to a leader in the state, if not the nation, within a few short years," Sloan said. "Canby teachers have gone from attending national conferences to presenting at them."
Students like Owen Carter, Gonzalo Rodriguez and Caleb Cole are signing up for more CTE classes so they can spend more time in the makerspace.
"In the short time the makerspace has been around, we have seen lots of excitement from students and staff," Sloan said. "Students are coming to work on projects before and after school as well as asking questions outside school hours. Teachers are getting out of their classrooms and working with peer teachers to try and master new technology. Connections and collaboration between high school and elementary school teachers is happening.
"The buzz and excitement within the CTE programs is pretty amazing to watch," she said.
Sloan also said the space has drawn a more diverse group of students to work with technology, including more females.
Rodriguez, a senior at CHS, has worked hard to learn to use the 3D printing machines and has used trial and error to create a variety of projects.
"I'm loving it –- every second of it," Rodriguez said.
It took him two tries, but he created a car with rolling wheels. He's also created an all-in-one wrench set, a two-piece speaker and other gadgets.
And it's not just about playing with high-tech toys. The space allows students and teachers to integrate different disciplines in a variety of ways. As one example, Sloan said students' ideas can start as a graphic design class project, then be 3D printed in the makerspace, marketed in the student store in the business and marketing class and finally, maintained as an inventory of supplies in the accounting program.
Sloan said she is confident students will walk away from these programs with skills that transform into paths toward further education or careers.
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