Windsor High School hosts ‘Tech Day Open House’
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., May. 2, 2013
Windsor High School’s technology curriculum is changing with the times. As teachers at the high school work to prepare their students for real-life jobs, the pressure to make classroom lessons modern and relevant is vital to students walking out with practice skills.
“We’ve changed our programs a lot in the last year,” said Dustin Ricci, a teacher in the Applied Science and Technology Department. “There has been a lot of turnover in the department in the last few years. We have breathed new life into it,” he said.
On April 27, the technology bay doors were thrown open for a “Tech Day Open House,” to invite the public to see what sorts of projects the students are currently working on. “We feel like we’re doing a lot of wonderful things and we wanted to give the public a chance to see it,” said teacher Matthew Dadona.
One project is an electric car for an upcoming competition called Electrathon America. In this competition, the students build and compete cars which are powered by batteries only. The students have been building this car from scratch and plan to run it in the competition on May 10. Ricci says it will be ready. “We’re closer to the end than the beginning,” he laughed.
His students are using their Computer Automated Drafting skills to design it, but, pressed for time, they were working hard even on this Saturday to move the project along and were willing to show anyone who came to visit what they had accomplished.
Next door in the automotive classroom, which is really a work-bay like any repair garage, students Jelisa and Jenna were working on a car receiving some customizations. In this classroom, students are able to collaborate with local body shops like the one who will be helping the kids paint the police car. The car will be used by the WHS School Resource Officer and hopefully, once completed, be driven in the Shad Derby Parade.
Here the students are allowed to work on state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and get their hands dirty, sometimes very dirty, on real cars with real repairs.
According to Dadona, the enrollment in the Applied Sciences classes has doubled in the last year. “When I took over the manufacturing classes, it was kind of struggling to hold on to students,” he said. “Next year I will have four classes – it doubled the enrollment,” he said. He credits the department upgrading its technology with this growth. “We’re getting into 21st century technology skills that they would not have been able to learn before,” he said.
On Tech Day, as a handful of teenagers were listening to music and working on the electric car together, Dadona said, “One of the things we’re most proud of? Twelve kids working here on a Saturday. That’s impressive.”