Engineering House: A New Window of Opportunity

Dimond High School’s Engineering House is making way for new and exciting opportunities, materials and activities. For those not aware of what the Engineering House is, it is a group of five classes, all focusing on preparing Dimond students for engineering majors in college. According to Dimond Engineering House teacher Zion Russel, there are three prominent additions of technical material this year to the Engineering House: “[The] new 3D Rapid Prototyper,” “the Laser Engraver” and other smaller additions. Russel tells of the capabilities of the 3D Rapid Prototyper, which is able to produce different pieces and shapes, made out of plastic constituents. Russel notes that a certain group within the Engineering House did an assignment with the 3D Rapid Prototyper, where they had to create a train with circles, squares and other shapes. The Laser Engraver is also a new addition, that allows you to “etch and cut,” says Russel. Russel shows a student a piece of wood, in which a design is engraved [using the Laser Engraver]. In Russel’s class, a group of students working on digital electronic activities are building a house, by means of architectural designs, then are printing it out as a 2 dimensional picture. Dimond science teacher Jennifer Childress, the head of Engineering House, sheds much light on the situation. According to Childress, there are five classes available within the Engineering House. Freshmen may be entitled to one class: Introduction to Engineering. Two classes are available to sophomores: Introduction to Engineering and Principles of Engineering. Juniors and seniors may qualify for higher-level engineering courses: an engineering elective, civil engineering, computer integrated manufacturing and/or a technical writing class. Childress discusses a significant event that occurred just three weeks ago. The school [the Engineering House] was certified. This means that, by taking an engineering class, students can now receive college credits. Certain officials came up from the lower 48 to inspect the Engineering House program and see to it that the criteria was met. After a day’s evaluation, Dimond became a certified school. Students may now take a certain exam (like an AP test), and if they score a 70 percent or higher on there test—85 percent or higher in the class—they become eligible for college credits at up to 32 universities, according to Russel. This certification has opened a new window of opportunity for Dimond—engineering-wise—that will enable all 170 students within the house to achieve great things.