CTEP Step Up Classes for Middle School Students: A Big Hit!

ROP students with bike in work-stand

Santa Cruz County Middle School students were offered Career Technical Education through CTEP Step-Up classes at five different high school sites during May and June. For many, it was the first time to test out academic theory with hands on projects in Engineering, Bike Repair and Maintenance, Construction and Solar, Artistic Welding and Animation. In addition, this year, high school students attended class each day to mentor the students, thus contributing to an easier transition to high school.

Engineering @ San Lorenzo Valley High School

Kicking off the season, David Grant, Engineering, Construction and Aquaponics instructor at San Lorenzo Valley High School, opened the door of Engineering to twenty-two eager students. Projects included learning how to wire a solar car, learning about the physics of water displacement, and the capstone: exploring how electricity is conducted. A new tool, Circuit Scribe, enabled students to draw circuits and test electricity flow. Some students became so excited that they immediately began designing in their minds how they could use this process to create a light switch next to their bed by drawing on their walls!

ROP Engineering group photo

ROP Engineering - students floating clay boat in tub

ROP Engineering student soldering circuit board

Construction Tech @ Watsonville High School

CTEP Construction instructor, Evan Clark, at Watsonville High School, taught students how to design and make a jewel box including routing the edges, designing the top and inscribing their design with a CNC (computer numerical control) machine.

ROP Construction class

ROP Woodworking - wood project in wood vice

ROP Construction - students sanding wood project

Bike Repair & Maintenance @ Pajaro Valley High School

CTEP Bicycle Technology instructor Steve Hess offered Bike Repair and Maintenance to students at Pajaro Valley High School. Students learned how to care for their bikes and had a daily dose of bike riding inspiration. By mid-week, the students were testing their work: fixing a flat, chain and brake maintenance, and truing wheels by riding around the campus. One student had never been on a bike with gears and front and rear brakes, and after that she asked every day when they could ride the bikes. Students learned workplace skills and gained a sense of independence and self-reliance.

ROP Bicycle Tech class

ROP Bike Tech - students install tube in tire

ROP Bike Tech - test ride

Artistic Welding @ Soquel High School

At Soquel High, CTEP instructor Laurie Hilderbrand helped students design a piece of art and were assisted by student alumni in using welding tools to make their piece come to life. Students created metal art and gained experience in an industry that is still very important in all phases of construction and manufacturing.

ROP Welding instructor with students

ROP Welding class - student with welding rods

ROP Welding class - students in welding masks

Animation @ Santa Cruz High School

The Animation class, taught by CTEP instructor Seth Wilson, was the final offering of the 2015 CTEP Summer Step-Up classes. Students learned the basics of animation creating Phenakitostoscopes as well as how to take their hand-drawn art and animate it in After Effects. Animated pixel art, stop motion animation and 3-D design were additional projects that the students were engaged with.

ROP Animation class - student working on computer

ROP Animation class - ROP instructor Seth consults student with video

ROP Animation class - student works on computer

ROP Animation class - students working on computer

Cheers went up in the room over each class. Who would guess that students would be so happy to be at school during the summer! And… one thing that students stated when asked what else would have been good about the classes, they all said, “Have more of them!!!”

The classes were sponsored through the Santa Cruz County Office of Education Career Technical Education Partnership and coordinated by Karen Lemon, CTEP Middle School Outreach Coordinator. Step Up classes are designed to help students learn more about career possibilities and courses that they can take in high school to support their academic pathway. The objective of the classes is to inspire students and allow them to use their innate skills and abilities to enhance their education. For more information about the CTEP Middle School Career Exploration Program please contact Karen Lemon.