An intriguing example of how CTE programs can advance an entire school’s commitment to preparing all students for college and careers can be seen at Foothill High School in Tustin, California. Walking into Jeff Farr’s Design and manufacturing class, I was captivated by the contrast between the state of the art CNC equipment (milling and plasma cutting) and the rusted hull of the 1929 Ford Roadster that had recently been donated to the school.
Working in teams, students like Sean O’Bannon were assigned the task of utilizing Autodesk software to design components as part of a complete restoration. Sean engaged in a problem solving process that began with ideation for a headlight mount. Beginning with concept sketches and foam core mockups, Sean used Autodesk Inventor to make 3D models, creating 3D printed prototypes that were subsequently refined to produce plasma cut metal parts that were assembled and mounted on the vehicle. Like the other teams who were involved in resurrecting this rusted hull that was previously buried out in the Mojave Desert, Sean and his teammates developed a presentation on their part of the work that was presented to peers and a panel of industry pros.