Often there is a perceived separation between the core subjects and Career and Technical Education. As electives, CTE courses have occasionally been stereotyped as a place where students who don’t fit the mold of traditional education go to learn trade skills in leu of preparing for college. In reality, CTE courses are electives that naturally enhance the concepts taught in traditional courses, and provide a chance for students to thrive and apply those concepts in a hands-on way.
Southern Oregon schools are putting the CTE stigma to bed with students like sophomore Evan Begg, who are both the byproduct of and the driving force behind the region’s STEM initiative to bring the two – not so different – worlds of core subjects and CTE together. Evan learned how to determine the volume of complex 3D objects in AP Calculus 1 and was then able to utilize the 3D computer aided modeling he learned in Advanced Engineering Design class to create an actual physical manifestation of the concept. Using Solidworks design software and a 3D printer, Evan designed an object comprised of sine and cosine functions. He then was able to easily portray the varying areas of the object’s cross-section forming equilateral triangles. When added together, these multitude of cross-sectional triangles comprise the total volume of the 3D object.
Evan also put his skills to use this year as a student in Manufacturing Woods and Manufacturing Metals classes, along with winning 3rd place in Technical Drafting for State SkillsUSA in both 2014 and 2015. Evan is an incredible student, and one of the many who are currently engaged in CTE courses around the region and leaving school with a comprehensive and advanced set of skills in STEM.