Technology and Engineering Department gears for the future


Shjon Gallegos works on a project in his woods class. Sydney Clark Photo


The Mirror reporter

The Technology and Engineering Education department is constantly changing with the times.

Students who take these classes have many great opportunities. These classes can help them figure out what career might be a good match for them and then get them set with the basic skills. These classes help students fill requirements needed to graduate from SPASH. On top of all that, most of these classes are dual credit classes. Which means juniors and seniors who take these classes, might get a credit for high school and also for Mid-State Technical College.

Classes that apply for the dual credit system are Introduction to Machine Tool, Welding Technology, Advanced Welding & Metal, Metal Fabrication, Video Production 2 and Introduction to Auto CAD, Computer Graphics and Digital Photography.

Stevens Point Area Senior High has many tech ed classes from woodworking classes and welding to digital photography. Each and every one of them has a different purpose but “they’re there to prepare the students to be workforce ready, and to help them recognize their skills and potential. These classes are set up to show students what careers are out there and to give them an example of tasks they might do for that job,” said SPASH Technology and Engineering teacher and Career and Technology Education coordinator Ryan Kawski.

SPASH teacher Todd Vanderloop said, “the goal for our students is to get job experience before they leave the school and head into the workforce. We want them to be prepared and get an idea of what they would like to do after school. This is the time for them to explore their options.”

The primary professional skills they teach are problem-solving and critical thinking. Some practical skills the department teaches its students are setting goals and then working to achieve those goals. They also want students to be comfortable working alone and collaborating with others and to have a good work ethic.

When asked about how they would improve the department, many teachers said the same thing: They would like to expand their options for classes and think newer and/or faster equipment and programs would benefit everyone.

“One change I would like to make that would definitely help the department is to set aside our image and get the message out that we welcoming to everyone. Tech ed classes are not just for one type of people, they’re for everyone,” said Kawski.

Students who have taken these classes learn a lot from them. “Automotive class takes students who don’t know much about cars and teaches them the basic things they need to know and sends them in the direction of that field,” said student Seth Stevens.

Students learn about specific skills relating to the subject they chose. From there they branch out and look into other aspects of the career or subject of their choosing.

“I took computer graphics last year and I enjoyed the class a lot. I liked how we were introduced to Photoshop and other programs and was taught how to use them to their full potential. Over the course of that one semester, I improved my skills. I could alter boring pictures and turn them into something beautiful,” said student Braydon Engebretson.