Nuts ‘N’ Bolts

Technology Academy Courses Provide ‘Real-Life’ Skills

Jamestown High School students, Matt Wetherby, Matt Frederick, Orren Breen, Darius Thomas, Jose Diaz, and Alexis Natal-Guzman toured Dave Warren Auto Group with Service Manager Andy Nelson to learn more about careers in the automotive field.

“The Information Manufacturing courses at Jamestown High School’s Technology Academy were a great way for me to be introduced to something I was interested in but didn’t have a lot of knowledge about before taking the class,” said Terrance DeJesus, a 2012 JHS graduate who currently works as a threat research analyst for NTT Security, a global IT company. Some of his duties include: threat intelligence, malware analysis and finding vulnerabilities in computer software. “IT was just getting a buzz when I took the class at JHS. I was looking for something different than my classmates were doing. I took both Information Technology I & II. It was a way for me to get introduced to the industry and was very important to me, as it led me to the career I now have because it opened my eyes to the possibilities in the IT field.”

Mr. DeJesus is talking about the courses offered to Jamestown High School students at the Raymond J. Fashano Technology Academy including: Information Technology I & II and Electricity/Electronics taught by Chris Jewell and Manufacturing Technology I & II taught by Scott VanStee.

“IT, and all of these careers, are not going away,” said Mr. DeJesus, who went to Pittsburgh Technical Institute and majored in Information Technology in national security and forensics. “Investing in courses such as these at the high school level is so important because, for some children in Jamestown, they may not have exposure to careers like this and these classes can help kids find a career path that they might not have otherwise discovered. I know that taking the Information Technology courses at JHS helped me decide on my career path.”

The Technology Academy teachers agree with Mr. DeJesus.

“There are a wide range of students who take the Technology Academy classes so they are very needed courses at JHS,” said Mr. VanStee. “Some students who struggle in math ‘get it’ better because they see why and how it is used in manufacturing. Other students are interested in going into the working world right out of high school and want to know state of the art manufacturing machines and processes. Some plan to go to trade school where they will have a leg up on further studies in the world of manufacturing because they have had this real-world experience. And we have other students who are going into engineering, robotics, and other related manufacturing fields and want to know the basics before heading to college.”

Jamestown High School senior, Alex Kolstee, works on a robotics machine during Manufacturing Technology class.

Mr. VanStee teaches Manufacturing Technology I & II a computerized laboratory-based course, which introduces students to real-world applications using math and science. Manufacturing Technology I includes the basics in each of the manufacturing processes (CNC, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Robotics, CAD, Quality Control, Electronics, Electricity), whereas Manufacturing Technology II delves deeper into these processes and procedures. Manufacturing Technology II is more involved and takes the processes and procedures to a further, more “critical thinking” stage.

“I have taken Manufacturing Technology and I am currently taking Manufacturing Technology II,” said JHS senior Alex Kolstee. “These classes give me a sense of what the jobs are all about in robotics, CNC and electronics. I also find out what the manufacturers are looking for in an employee. Our teachers tell us that these fields need people that have the skills to do it. I like the classes because they are hands-on. You get to do what you might be actually doing at a job. These classes at JHS give us the basic knowledge of what is needed to work in these industries and gives us a head start. I am interested in doing something with CNC and am considering attending JCC.”

Mr. Jewell offers three courses: Information Technology I & II and Electricity/Electronics. Information Technology I covers basic skills in computer operation and repair, web development, networking, computer architecture and business skills. Students learn troubleshooting techniques to identify and resolve a variety of common computer problems. Students also learn the fundamentals of HTML programming to create their own web page. This course prepares students for A+ certification.

Information Technology II covers communications, software development and applications. The course prepares students to understand how to analyze, operate, administer, maintain, test and implement networking and communication services. Students identify and solve system problems, from installing cable systems to programming network devices. Students ensure the network hardware and software are installed and operating properly.

Electricity/Electronics course covers all critical topics associated with electoral and electronic circuits and the devices that control them. Students who have completed this course have gone on in careers as electrical engineering, electricians, electronics technicians, computer technicians, automotive technicians and various communications fields.

Jamestown High School junior, Todd Rudd, works on repairing a computer during Information Technology class.

“The Electricity/Electronics and Information Technology courses offer students an opportunity to look more in depth at a possible career field. All these courses offer a way for students to learn real-world, problem-solving skills that they will need in any job,” said Mr. Jewell. “With an average growth of rate of 8 percent to 27 percent in these fields in the next 10 years, these courses at the Technology Academy give students a great opportunity to see what they are interested in to possibly continue their education in this area and find a great career.”