BDHS students focus on future engineering endeavors

November 27, 2018

Beaver Dam High School teacher Ross Damon teaches the first course in the new engineering program at the high school. He is holding one of the household tools the students created during an instant challenge in the course. The school will ad engineering courses over the next few years.

A new program at Beaver Dam High School is giving students a detailed look into engineering processes that may give some of them a leg up when they enter advance schooling.

“It is part of Project Lead the Way, and this is the first year we have added the engineering component,” instructor Ross Damon said.

Damon teaches an introductory engineering designs class, with two sections of students that meet during the afternoons at the school.

The course is part of Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit organization for K-12 students and educators that helps to develop skills through real-world challenges. The high school began offering a biomedical track of Project Lead the Way last school year. Project Lead the Way classes are also offered at Beaver Dam Middle School.

Damon said the students started with sketches of items and moved onto technical drawings. The first part of the class had the students doing sketches in a notebook.

Currently, they are working on computers with CAD modeling. Damon said they will be working with the laser printer and 3-D printer.

“The idea is to introduce engineering design process and to get the students to think outside of the box,” Damon said.

The students also have instant challenges. Damon said on the first day they had to create a vehicle that could be self propelled on a fishing line in the classroom.

“They had to come up with the design and build it,” Damon said.

Next year, the students will be able to take principles of engineering.

“Each year, we will introduce another class,” Damon said. “It will give kids who are interested in engineering a step up when they go to college.”

The students can also get certifications for certain desktop software while taking the courses.

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