This fall budding engineers at the Center for Technology Essex are getting a major boost. Federal grant dollars are allowing them hands-on access to new high-tech tools they might not otherwise see until college.
The Center for Technology Essex is introducing more than $40,000 in new technology.
"I just wanted to make something cool and creative that could move," said Brian Nadeau, a student.
This fall students are getting their hands on a new 3-D printer. It's allowing engineering students to design items on their computers.
"I designed a money clip, something that can be used every day, in and out, hold your money, credit cards, whatever you have," said Abdul Dozic, a student.
Then those designs are sent to the machine where they're brought to life in plastic without leaving the classroom.
"We can come over here to this computer, look at the machine and actually do it ourselves. The hands-on experience is hands down my most favorite part about it," Nadeau said.
Second year student Brian Nadeau is designing childrens' toys.
"The head we're still working on to make it bobble back and forth," he said.
The new high-tech tools at CTE also include laser and vinyl printers, that together are filling the school's new fabrication lab.
"There's nothing better for any of these students than to see the latest technology and to be able to get excited about using it," said James Dirmaier of CTE.
The equipment is being incorporated across the curriculum. Science, engineering and math students are using this space, as will those enrolled in the school's Arts Academy. Young minds are already excited about the potential.
"Seeing something that you made actually being used out in the real world," Nadeau said. Students also hope the shiny perks may lead to others giving the nontraditional high school a second look.
"All these new machines gives CTE a good reputation and shows that CTE is a school you want to go to," Dozic said.
The new equipment is being paid for with grant dollars from the U.S. Department of Education. CTE is working ways to share the new technology with the public. It plans to open the doors to the new lab on the weekends for folks to work on their own projects.
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