While the focus for high school students is often geared towards college prep courses, at SPHS, students can get plenty of hands-on experiences in industrial technology and building trades. These course offerings are part of the school’s overall CTE (Career & Technical Education) program, which includes agricultural science and FACS (Family and Consumer Science). (More information on those two programs will be shared in next month’s Highlights.
SPHS CTE teachers Michael Reeser and Scott Robinson provide students with instruction in several areas of study, including Woodworking, Introduction to Engineering, Building Trades, Metalworking I, Metalworking II, Automotive Mechanics, and Introduction to Power Mechanics. Reeser has worked with the district since the high school opened in 2017, while Robinson is new this year, replacing long-time teacher Warren Peterson, who retired after the 2020-21 school year.
These courses are specifically designed to provide students with the skills and training necessary should they consider choosing one of these tracks as a field of study either through vocational/technical school or college or move right into a career path upon graduation.
Courses offered in the Manufacturing Lab include Intro to Power Mechanics, Principles of Metalworking I and II, and Automotive Mechanics.
“Students enrolled in the Introduction to power mechanics course learn about outdoor power equipment and small gas engines with a basic overview of things to know when you own a car but may not necessarily plan to perform all of the maintenance yourself,” Reeser said.
Students engage in various hands-on activities such as engine disassembly, engine components and systems identification, engine inspection, engine assembly, engine troubleshooting, and basic automotive components.
Automotive mechanics student’s hands-on opportunities include general vehicle maintenance items such as oil change, tire change, tire rotation, undercarriage repair, brakes, steering suspension, driveline, exhaust, and fuel systems.
“Principles of Metalworking I students learn to use the 4-basic arc welding process and 2-basic cutting systems -- shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux core arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, plasma arc cutting, and oxy acetylene cutting,” Reeser said. “Students in Metalworking II will be able to complete and pass the American Welding Society Welder qualification and certification test for industry recognized training as well as learn to fabricate from blueprints to create precise, inspected components.”
Robinson, who works with students mainly in the engineering/design lab as well as the woodworking shop, has enjoyed getting to know the students and staff here at SPHS since the start of the new school year.
“Being new this year I am excited to see all the opportunities our students have to develop skills in different areas,” Robinson said. “The community support for the school and CTE programs is really paying off for our students. St. Peter offers CTE classes that start with the basics and progress to the advanced skills that give our students an advantage going forward. Some will use these classes as a starting point for a whole career, some will find a new hobby and others will just go forward knowing that they can design, build, fix, cook or grow things when they want to. It is always exciting to see what students do with the skills learned in these courses and I am excited to have joined such an impressive team.”