The Parker Foundation has approved a $30,000 STEM education grant to North County Trade Tech High School to begin the creation of the Innovation Design Center (IDC). The catch is that it is a 2 for 1 matching grant and we are required to fundraise an additional $15,000 to obtain the grant. The first stage of implementation will see the IDC take root in the 2015-16 school year. When completed in 2016-17 school year, the $160,000 product development and modeling facility and will include 25 Mechanical Drawing and Design stations, 20 Computer Animation and Graphics Design stations, 2 3D printers, 12 Sherline CNC mills and lathes, a CNC wood router, a finishing station including powder coating, Arduino electronics training center, and a small shop area for working with plastics, metals and wood. Much of the remaining funding sources have yet to be identified, but will most likely come from community and industry partners and grants received from other sources. When Associated General Contractors (AGC) heard about the new STEM facility while speaking with students at a College and Career Day at Trade Tech, Jack Chapel immediately came through with a donation of workbenches for the new facility. They began delivering the custom benches last week. Member companies of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) have committed to provide other facility upgrades. This is part of the reason that Trade Tech is a registered California Partnership Academy. Just last weekend, North Coast Church, during their Weekend of Service, erected the divider walls for the lab facility.
Dean Merrick, the Manufacturing Technology teacher, states that “This state of the art facility will provide students with a relevant education as they enter into the 21st century workforce.” The facility will house the new Manufacturing Tech and Product Development courses, as well as the current Drafting and Sustainable Design courses, where students will learn the basics of Graphics Design, Product Development, Manufacturing and Engineering. This Manufacturing option is a great complement to Trade Tech’s Engineering and Construction Pathways and will help develop the skills needed in today’s local workforce.
Earlier this year, Trade Tech received a California Department of Education grant to develop new curriculum in Manufacturing and Product Development. The first course of three has been developed and has been approved for the UC A through G approval as a Fine Arts class. The second class will be submitted by June. The third class will be a machining class. Trade Tech High School is working with its industry partners to develop the class that prepares students for a career in machining. Eventually that capstone course will be a 3-hour machining class designed with partner Mira Costa College to prepare students for positions in machining and materials science.
Trade Tech High School is a recognized 501C3. For more information and a list of needs for the facility, visit www.tradetechhigh.org