Pictured: Carbon High School instructor Elias Perez along with freshman Brayden Olsen observe one of the school’s newest machines as it begins work on Olsen’s project.
Walk into one of the new classes taught at Carbon High School by Elias Perez and you’d be hard pressed to determine who’s having more fun, the students or the teacher.
The teacher was recently approached by the school district about teaching two new, semester-long classes. The classes, one called manufacturing principles and the other taking into account technical design and drafting with an emphasis on mechanical design, have been pioneering for the school and the educator who responds to ideas with a smile and friendly, “why not?”
This year, Perez has seen nearly 20 students come through his doors and take advantage of the new programs and state-of-the-art technology to enjoy classes previously not offered at the local high school.
“We are not limited to rural classes anymore,” Perez said, “This is high-tech.”
Using the newest technology, students are able to draft and design their projects before transferring them to a computer system and using automated 3-D printers and brand new CNC wood cutting machines to create a product that is not only produced faster, but more accurate as well.
“They go through the whole process,” Perez explained, stating that literacy in such programs is what employers in the workforce are currently looking for.
“Right here’s where they use everything,” he explained, referencing the unique blend of math, communication, and other subjects the students learn into creating a project.
Just this year, his students have worked on creating their own fidget spinner and a desktop clock. Perez also mentioned the department’s new laser cutter, able to cut so fine that it was used to create a wooden safe that is able to be locked and opened comparable to a metal one.
One of Perez’s main concerns for the time being, however, is lack of public who know about such capabilities offered at the school.
“The manufacturing really gives them [students] an idea of what kind of manufacturing is out there for the kids to use in careers,” Carbon High School’s lead counselor Melissa Swenson said of the course offered.
Perez hopes that even more students will take part in his classes next year and continue to not only learn with their hands but prepare their minds for what awaits them.