While many students may complain certain subjects such as geology and trigonometry will be obsolete once they enter, ‘the real world’ MC has moved to counter these complaints. MC’s current engineering and computer science programs may be lacking, but with increased, advanced equipment, fresh and exciting courses being offered and a new teacher to boot, this department is not only being revamped, but will become a leader in the district.
Assistant Principal Katie Salo has been working closely with the district’s Career and Technology Education office (CTE) with students in mind, to help build the engineering program.
“I’ve been working closely with [the CTE] for last three or four years on transitioning us into this kind of program and because of MC’s commitment to it, the CTE has generously supported that decision,” Salo said.
‘That decision’ included MC’s move to update old equipment and purchase new tech, that will not only advance students learning, but will prepare them for apparatus they may see in future job situations. New machines include a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, and CNC router and bench mills. In the transformed wood shop room, students can design on the computer, and watch their creations come to life.
“This used to be a traditional wood shop where we would have equipment after equipment, but now it’s meant to be a design space where students can work creatively, design, make, and do,” Salo said. “[Students can] transfer the theory into reality.”
Former wood shop teacher Kris Peters originally had planned on helping transfer programs, but ultimately had to retire earlier than planned, and so the task of transitioning the old into the new fell to interim teacher, Mr. Shadoan. Shadoan currently teaches the engineering classes but starting third trimester in March, Ms. Wytmans will take over full time.
Salo’s remark that she “has an impressive resume” may be an understatement, as Wytmans has worked for HP for over 20 years, holds four patents, and helped design one of the machines currently residing in our engineering lab.
With all these new additions, MC is looking to add even more class to our course request forms. These classes include aerospace, computer manufacturing, digital electronics, and environmental sustainability. Ultimately, the offered courses aren’t entirely up to Salo or MC’s administrative staff.
“We do want student input and we want parent input,” Salo said. “We want people from industry to come in and advise us as to what students need to get experience for industry.”
All in all, MC will become a leader in the district, with only Poway High having similar opportunities. This means Sundevils may see new faces on campus, maybe even a Wolverine or two, who will be venturing to MC to partake in these cutting age classes. Not to mention the robotics club, amateur radio club, and non-school affiliated design engineers hope to reap the benefits this new lab has to offer.
“We are trying to put it together to help make this a full experience for students,” Salo said. “That way they can have a great understanding of the design experience and the design process so that when they go on to the university level or professional careers that they have a solid foundation.”