The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Education feature: CHS labs get upgrade


November 25, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Clovis High junior Matthew Martinez, right, and sophomore Zach Leeth work on a model crane in the upgraded CHS tech lab.

o CHS labs add 3D printing, robotics kits, milling machine.

By Jamie Cushman


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CLOVIS - An upgraded technology lab at Clovis High School has given students the chance to explore new tech that wasn't even invented when their parents went to school.

Tech lab teacher Adrian Lucero said the upgraded lab was completed in early October and includes 3D printing, new robotics kits and a milling machine that carves designs the students created on a computer into aluminum, plastic or wood.

"In general there's a lot more resources at our disposal and a more in-depth system of rotations," sophomore Mercedes Theriault said about the upgraded tech lab.

Students work in pairs on two-week projects that challenge them to solve problems, often based in real-life examples, through collaboration.

"Even with a little kit where they're making a model, they're learning a little bit about bridge designs or other aspects like that," Lucero said.

They explore coding, robotics, pre-engineering, digital design and 3D animation.

"We're just continuing to give them lots of opportunities to explore with different technologies. It's kind of meant a little bit for career exploration, figure out an area of interest they can study further," Lucero said.

"They teach themselves, I'm more of a facilitator. They have to figure out the resources that are given to them. It's just a lot of problem solving with their partner to try to figure it out and I'm there to help them out when they're stuck and try to engage them."

Lucero told The News that he has visited other tech labs in Denver over the past two years, one of which was concerned about urbanization in their area. The class researched microhabitats and presented to a developer how to involve microhabitats in a new building development in their community.

Lucero said the Clovis tech lab program has not yet reached that advanced stage where they are working on projects in the community, but it's on the horizon.

He said they will receive training on wind energy in January, a growing field in eastern New Mexico.

Sophomore Zach Leeth said he enjoys the change of pace tech lab provides during the school day, as well as the chance to build social and communication skills.

Junior Matthew Martinez said he hopes to become a video game designer, so the work with different computer programs and software is beneficial.

Lucero said career preparation is a big part of the tech lab class and hopefully the students are learning skills they will carry with them after leaving high school.

"The technology coming out, they have to stay ahead of it and learn how to stay abreast of the new technologies as they're coming out," Lucero said. "They're learning to seek out these resources that we're providing them with so they can go and do their own research. When something new changes in their job, they can learn how to use those pieces of equipment."


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