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High School Program Helps Fuel Engineering Interests

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

In today's high-tech world, it's no wonder why there's a need for engineers and the students know it.
"Everything's going to be computer based I think. Banks, people, shopping-everything," said Josh Frock, a senior at Eau Claire North.
And that's why these students are giving project lead the way a try. It's a national, non-profit organization established to help students acquire the knowledge they need to excel in technical industries.
"All of the activities that the students do are all based on hands-on, minds-on. In other words, instead of just teaching them practical theory, they actually get to demonstrate the theory," said Damon Smith, technology education instructor at Eau Claire North.
"My favorite part about it is that you're not sitting down in a desk the whole time. You're actually up and moving around. It's more hands-on," said Ryan Dedrickson, a junior.
Students have the option to take a series of pre-engineering courses that combine math, science and technology. They can even receive college credits.
But for some, this program helps them direct their future plans in another direction.
I'm kind of leaning towards not pursuing it. I have some other things in mind, but I still really enjoyed the course," said Justin Vasel, a senior.
For others, Project Lead the Way is preparing them for college-level work
"I think it would be a lot more scary for me to enter college with out this class because this gives me a lot of confidence in my abilities to work through engineering problems," said David Johnson, a senior.
Enrollment in these courses is steady, but instructors hope more students will give it a try. They say its a good way to get a head start on deciding the future.


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