A Plymouth High School student welds the tube steel frame of this year’s Formula High School car.
Posted February 13, 2017
The 20 technology education courses at Plymouth High School provide students in engineering classes as well as those learning skilled trades with extensive hands-on applications of lessons learned in core classes.
Most of the classes take place in the LTC-Plymouth Science & Technology Center, which features CNC mills, a plasma cutter, a 3-D printer, a welding training facility, engineering/CAD Labs, and a modern automotive lab. This state-of-the-art facility allows PHS students during the day and LTC students in the evenings to gain experience with all phases of the design process, taking projects from conception to completion.
Career & Technical Education focuses on the exploration of the self in relation to the world of work. Hallmarks of CTE are college and career readiness, academic and technical skills, work-based learning, and leadership skills. The biggest CTE disciplines are business education, technology education, culinary arts, and agriculture. We will explore each of these in February, which is CTE Month.
Technology education draws on skills learned in all core classes, especially math, science and English.
“Students use the following math skills in tech ed: problem solving, basic arithmetic and measuring, computation and formula solving, angles and trigonometry, and shapes and geometry,” said PHS math teacher Jack Daniels.
As part of their master's degrees' action research project, Mr. Daniels along with math teacher Darren Munson and automotive technology instructor Beau Biller researched the need for better collaboration between technology and math education. As a result, a pair of semester-long College Technical Math classes through Lakeshore Technical College were developed.
“The new tech ed math classes will cover algebra and geometry topics with an emphasis on how these concepts are used specifically in CTE fields,” Mr. Daniels said. “CTE math applications will play a large role in the coursework.”
The classes will emphasize solving technical problems by using mathematical skills. Topics for the first class will include linear equations, graphing, percent, proportions, measurement systems, computational geometry, and right triangle trigonometry. Topics for the second class will include polynomial expressions, rational equations, systems of equations, and oblique triangle trigonometry.
Both classes was designed for technical college-bound students and those interested in applied technical extensions of algebra and geometry. The classes follow the course outcomes required by Lakeshore Technical College, and students can earn advanced standing or possibly three credits from LTC for successfully completing each class.
PHS also offers an Applied Communications course for seniors interested in auto technology. This half-credit course teaches communications skills centering around four major projects that largely focus on clearly conveying specialized automobile knowledge to the average person. Learning takes place as part of the two periods of the auto tech class.
In addition, PHS recently added Theatre Design and Technology, a semester-long course taught by drama teacher Janet DeJean Newton and local theater professionals. Thanks to involvement in the PHS spring musical, participants gain hands-on experience in the technical areas of lighting, sound, sets, props, makeup, and costume design and construction.
All technology education classes provide invaluable preparation for careers in engineering, manufacturing and transportation. In addition to the classes above, students also can position themselves for such careers by pursing the following opportunities at PHS:
The PHS technology education program has garnered a number of awards in recent years: