POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Career Center offers several programs to students wanting to experience a simulated work environment and to prepare them for college.
The drafting program at the career center is offered to students in grades nine – 12. Drafting instructor Stephen Richardson shared the program is two years long and students have four classes to complete including Fundamentals of Drafting, Architectural Drafting, Mechanical Drafting, and Drafting techniques. Richardson said he has 37 total students this year and 18 of those students will be completing the program.
“My goal is for my students to leave this class with more knowledge than I have,” said Richardson.
He expressed that students who complete the drafting program will have the means to go into an engineering or an architecture major when they attend a university. Richardson said that his advanced students experience the bulk of the simulated work environment. He shared these students work independently and are required to hold meetings together to discuss their project ideas and work notes. Richardson said that he will check their work, but he is more of an omniscient guide to them as compared to his other students.
For the holiday season, Richardson shared that he had his students make metal Christmas tree ornaments. He said his students accepted order forms from individuals for the ornaments, they drew a sketch of the ornament to scale, they loaded their drawing onto a computer, then a machine cut the ornament out from a piece of metal.
Richardson expressed that his students do a lot of work with 3-D printers. For projects, he said that his students will draw a sketch to scale, which Richardson said he checks for accuracy, then the students will load their drawing onto a computer and the 3-D printer will create the object.
Richardson shared that he would love for the community to be more involved with the drafting program and ask the students to create items for them. He said that he has hopes in the future of making a large scale project of building a smart tiny house that many of the students at the career center could work on together.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.