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AHS Vocational expands courses for 2007-2008

ARLINGTON Arlington School District Deputy Superintendent Warren Hopkins requested the approval of four new courses for the Arlington High School Vocational Department for the 2007-2008 school year, but AHS Vocational Director Brett Sarver reported that five courses are on tap for the coming school year.
Along with courses on equine science, pre-veterinary science, the fundamentals of video production, and manufacturing and engineering technology, Sarver explained that AHS Vocational will offer a pre-engineering course, combining computer-aided design and drafting with agricultural mechanics.
Itll be team-taught, Sarver said. On the ag side, therell be welding, metal shop and milling machines. Well teach students how to use CAD and other programs to feed into computer numerical control mills.
To illustrate the type of progress that AHS could make by focusing further on merging programming and production, Sarver turned to AHS teacher Scott Striegel to point out one of the ways in which the school has already been able to combine modeling and machining in its curriculum.
Striegel trains his pupils on SolidWorks, which he described as one of the most widely-used computer-aided design and drafting programs in industry today. Using this solid-modeling software, students perform mechanical and automation design entirely on their computer screens, allowing them to share and revise those files with a series of mouse-clicks, before employing the 3-D printer to create plastic test pieces of their designs.
You can create solid or hollow pieces, Striegel said of the 3-D printer. When you send your designs through, you can determine right there whether theres a fault in your design, instead of losing metal, you just lose plastic which not only saves you time and money, it saves you machines.
Sarver noted that the pre-engineering course would also teach students how to work with CNC wood routers with the same coding. He added that a number of local companies have chipped in with scrap wood, plastic and metal for the program, as well as more sizable donations.
In addition to the Arlington Rotarys recent donation of $7,500, Sarver confirmed that the Snohomish County Workforce Development Council has committed $20,000 to AHS Vocational. He declined to name a number of individuals and organizations, who do not wish to be recognized for their donations, but cited the contributions of companies such as Absolute Manufacturing, ABW Technologies, AWC, HCI Steel Building Systems and the Newell Corporation.

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