STEM Pathways Video



I have (about) exactly 11 students. We are doing basic drafting and we are using a software called AutoCad. They learn how to draw, because that's the foundation of any production that they're going to have down the road.

In that particular course, they learn how to draw an object, and after they learn how to do the blueprint, and how to interpret all of these geometric dimensions and tolerancing, they can actually make an object.

After they learn the nature of each tool, you can actually program them and it will do it for you, automatically, on the machine.

So, it's a combination of a bunch of courses that they take in order to be ready to supply the demand of the industry that we are surrounded with.

You know, the nice thing about this program, is that when we look at how we align courses, we always try and look at how it's going to benefit students, once they leave us.

Not just attaining the credits, but what they're going to do with those credits, later and these particular classes in the computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided design, allow them to be employable as soon as they graduate.

but more importantly, when they plan on going to those 4-year universities, they're so much further ahead than other students that would have just graduated high school.

I've had so many students who finish the first course in AutoCad and they're able to get a job being a Cad-operator as they go ahead and complete their other courses they have for the program.

The two-year certificate that we have here is fully ready to go for you to be employed somewhere. Well, with RCHS, I want to get an associate's, so I can get ahead and probably just get a job as soon as I get out of college.

The fact that I can get two years of early college, and I can get my associate's degree, earlier -- I think it will help me, mostly in being able to get a job in that section of the engineering workforce.

The manufacturing lab that we have here at Richland, is a multi-million dollar facility. We've got a robotics lab, which we're sitting in right now, and they have access to more than they have access to at other locations as well as the content of the course is that much higher.

These are college-level courses that they're taking. So when they leave, they're going to be prepared to compete at any major university in design or manufacturing.

We're looking for students that are interested in math and science, interested in engineering, maybe have already been in robotics clubs at their current schools, and have had some advanced math.

One of the unique things about our inaugural class that we just started with, is that over 50 percent of the students are actually female. We're really excited about that. It's actually about 60-40 right now, female-to-male ratio. We're really excited, and we hope that will be an inspiration to other young women, too.

Hey, come check out this program, you're not going to be the only girl in the class. I looked into the engineering department, and I realized it would give me a lot more opportunities than my old school. I've explored a lot of different fields with engineering, but doing AutoCad all day, everyday, especially with this course, I think that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

My dream job is to be a manufacturing engineer. So I hope that I'll be able to work in a lab like that, someday! Coming here, instead of going to an actual high school -- there's classes more tailored toward a career.

It has a lot of advantages: two years of free college credit. They're in a college environment, with college professors, with college expectations. That's radically different than a regular, secondary public institution.

Every student, no matter what course they're taking here leaves completely prepared to be at the highest level of achievement and competition in higher-ed, when they leave and go to those major universities. They leave a better student, and they leave a better person.