I have found myself immersed the past three years in a new school building project. Being a part of the team that oversaw the creation of the new building has been an exhilarating experience. I am excited about the new learning environment and the possibilities for our community. Today was the last day of student attendance in the old building located at 309 South Main Street in Paris, IL. I will have to say that I found myself to be very emotional as the day ended. I guess you don’t just shut the book on 26 years in one place without feeling some kind of attachment to it. Those feelings inspired this attempt to catch the moment. I hope you enjoy!
The drone takes a flight in the new PHS gym.
The drone’s view of the new Paris Theater of Fine Arts
This is a drone video made by a student of our new PHS Cafeteria called the DEN@PHS. Enjoy!
We are very excited to announce that Paris High School will be offering a college co-credit series of manufacturing courses through Lakeland Community College in the Fall of 2015. The new Paris High School campus will house a new CAM Master Cobra CNC router as well as a nine station Aidex Armitrol lab that includes centers for learning about mechanical drives, electrical AC/DC systems, electric relay control, electrical fabrication, controls technology, fluid power, pneumatics, metrology, and robotics. We have had two staff members from our vocational department receive extensive training to use the equipment and guide our students through the learning standards set for the courses. As a result of finishing these courses, our students will earn industry certification and will be able to:
- Illustrate outlines as discernible shapes of solids.
- Draw sharp, clear, dark uniform lines; letter 1/8” tall vertical upper case.
- Read and document accurate measurements.
- Use proper techniques to make sketches and technical drawings.
- Demonstrate the use of a Computer‑Aided Drafting system to create simple to moderately complex technical drawings.
- Understand how to use absolute, relative and polar coordinate entry methods in a CAD drawing.
- Describe the purpose of Draw commands and how to use them.
- Describe the purpose of Modify commands and how to use them.
- Demonstrate how to dimension a drawing and the purpose of the most common dimensioning commands.
- Demonstrate how to reuse drawing objects and to transfer them from one drawing to another using the Block, Wblock and Insert commands. Identify career opportunities and work applications in the manufacturing field.
- Perform programming and application techniques required to complete complex machining assignments.
- Work will be performed on a computer numerically controlled milling machine and lathe.
- Calculate spindle speeds and cutting speeds for a CNC machine.
- Write and execute a program for a CNC mill.
- Calculate programming coordinates using mathematical methods.
- Setup tool and fixture offsets on a CNC machining center.
- Write and execute a program for a CNC lathe.
- Write on-line and off-line robot programs and operate robot using the programs.
- Develop applications of Robots to include interfacing of additional actuators to the system.
- Demonstrate CAD for practical applications to include Schematic Drawings, Sectional and Isometric Drawings, and facilities layout.
- Discuss basic purpose and function of Computer-Aided Manufacturing.
- Predict and calculate effects of induction and capacitance.
- Read, interpret, design and operate basic control and sequencing control logic circuits.
- Plan and install basic wiring systems.
- Describe, construct, and operate different hydraulic and pneumatic circuits.
- Describe principals of hydraulic/pneumatic flow and pressure controls and components used to provide control.
- Program, set up, and operate online and offline CNC mill programs.
- Setup and operate manual machine tools.
- List and demonstrate how to use basic machining hand tools.
- Describe, select, and apply proper drive systems for an application.
- Discuss and calculate speed and torque changes throughout a power drive system.
- Solve problems discovered using SPC.
- Determine part quality using geometric dimensioning and tollerancing.
- Use measuring equipment to determine the dimensions of parts.
Making today’s school relevant to the needs and wants (yes, I said wants) of today’s students needs to start with the adults who work for the kids. The narrative of the school has to change. It cannot be told by the adults in a first person vernacular. We, the educators have to learn that our part in the learning process is to help set the stage for student learning, not dictate it. The “I” part of the story needs to disappear from all parts of the process except for in the students role. “I do not have to make all of the decisions.” “I do not have to be the only source of information.” “I am not the expert and my role is to facilitate.” “WE are only as good as we let the students be!” The change starts at the top of the school organization. The leaders in the process must model for the staff and the learning community. Like the teacher in the classroom, the leader needs to do all that can be done to set the stage, provide for the conditions needed, and work on getting out of the way.
To my dismay, I had a fellow administrator tell me that their school was going to do mock PARCC exam drills this coming month. Every part of the day is going to be “test-like”! “We really need to get the kids ready for the test conditions they are going to face”….???? Maybe I am wrong, but I think the thing we need to QUIT getting kids ready for tests. We need to quit letting testing drive our proverbial “school bus”! We need to get to quit doing anything that does not have our students engaged in asking questions, testing ideas, and attempting to make physical solutions to everyday needs.
Pledge with me to stop teaching answers! Let’s concentrate on questions. Not so much on our questions, but the questions of our students. How can we fire their curiosity again?
Imagine a space in a school building where students spend time working with research specialists from throughout the region in a state of the art research laboratory. A student may work along side a research professional from Lilly Labs researching pharmaceutical health solutions, collaborate with a chemist from General Mills to create tasty new corn products, communicate with a bio-medical research team in Israel about a current local experiment involving the study of cancer cells at PHS, or study the latest in robotics and their applications at local industries such as North American Lighting or Simonton Windows.
The goal of the inclusion of this lab in the new Paris High School is to create “real life” learning experiences where students are linked to the rest of the world through research projects. The STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) room will be larger than the size of four regular classrooms and will be zoned to have biological, chemistry, and physics centers where regular classes can go to conduct research and participate in various projects related to course curriculum. The room can also serve as a center for advance projects done by upperclassmen under the mentorship of classroom teachers and outside experts.
The students will be able to present findings in media rich environment in the room’s “think tank” area which will be equipped with monitors, speakers, and computer that will connect them with the world as both an audience and an academic resource. Over all our goal will be to have students conduct high-level research, communicate with local, community, and worldwide audiences via web-based videoconferencing, and partner with a number of universities and corporations to learn practical applications of current science and technical studies. The room will allow students from vocational and academic courses to co-mingle as they prepare for further academic study or entry into the workforce after leaving high school. The funding for this venture is available because local philanthropists care about the education of the youth of this community and we could not create a space like this without their help. If you would like to know how you can become involved in this venture, please contact us at PHS (217) 466-1175.