Technology department gets an upgrade

Eddie Bennett, Staff Reporter

High-tech movies like Iron Man and Minority Report depict advanced machinery building cool inventions. The school’s technology department recently purchased heavy machinery of their own.

“We [the technology department] recently received multiple sizable grants,” said Technology Education teacher Christopher Stark. “The Skills Capital Grant is for $75,000, and it is going towards new equipment.”

The grant has been used to purchase a four-foot laser cutting machine. 

“The laser cutting machine sounds cool to me,” said senior Jake Bruce. “It almost makes me wish I was an underclassman so I could try it out.”

Students in the program say they are looking forward to the new equipment and excited to benefit from the grant money. 

The department also purchased a T-shirt printing machine, two large CNC routers, a vinyl printer, and power tools. 

“I have a 3D printer at home that I use to build things,” said freshman Nathan Tran. “It would be really cool to try out the CNC router.” 

Computer and engineering classes allow students to explore STEM careers and develop practical employable skills. 

“I plan on majoring in engineering, so I have taken a lot of different tech courses,” said senior Dan O’Riordan. “The classes are interesting yet challenging.” 

In addition to receiving the Skills Capital Grant, the technology department also received the Innovation Pathways Designation.

“It [the designation] opens the door to a lot of potential grants in the future,” said Stark. 

The equipment refresh could allow for the tech department to expand in future years.

“Soon after [the Makers Space course began running] it became obvious that this partnership pathway had a lot of room for growth,” said principal William Beando at the April 3rd School Committee meeting. “It [the program] was something that we could and should expand so that even more students could get this great opportunity.” 

Expanding the Engineering Technology Program provides students with a unique opportunity they wouldn’t have at a traditional high school. 

“These machines will be used in workplaces, so it is beneficial if kids know how to use them,” said sophomore Lam Quach. 

In the long-term, the department would like to provide an alternative path for students who may not attend college.

“We want students to be able to take our classes and go get jobs [right out of high school],” said technology teacher Greg Chandonnet. 

Senior Sophia DiLoreto believes that improvements to the curriculum have already impacted the various engineering classes. 

“The changes have been immense even over the last year,” said DiLoreto. “I believe both Mr. Stark and Mr. Chandonnet want to make this program the best it can possibly be.” 

Other students agreed.

“We already do a lot of really cool projects,” said O’Riordan. “The new CNC routers and laser cutter will allow us to create even more intricate things.”