Engineering, Drawing, and CAD Instructor, Brad Smith says students entering his lab at Lakeshore High School are saving precious learning time this year, thanks to the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation. Smith received a $64,000 grant from the LEF, over two years, to purchase 24 new computers for the CAD lab.
“It translates into 15 hours of additional instruction time every year,” says Smith. “The software didn’t work well on our old computers
and the technology was really slow. With these new computers, there’s no lag time starting up. They don’t crash on us. So now instead of spending 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there working on technology issues, it takes away the distractions from the learning environment. Now we can dedicate that time to learning.”
It’s technology that is essential to students working their way towards a career in Engineering, Drawing and CAD.
“We are teaching the students about mechanical drawing and mechanical engineering using software that is commonly used by a lot of the companies around this area,” said Smith. “Even if a student goes into engineering and doesn’t use that software, many of the other softwares that they use at companies they might work for are similar. So they are getting a really good head start thanks to the program that we have here at Lakeshore.”
Students participating in Smith’s CAD class also have the opportunity to earn college credit at places like Lake Michigan College. And his CAD class isn’t the only group benefitting from the upgrade.
“We have the software team, the design team, the marketing team all working in the CAD lab using the same computers, so this also benefits the robotics team and the machine tool students as well,” said Smith.
It’s access that they wouldn’t have had if not for the generous support of area businesses and donors who give to the LEF.
“With the budget we have for the program from the district, versus what the computers cost, it’s really tough to do that without the support of a partner like the LEF,” says Smith. The fact that it’s going to make my job easier and the students’ job easier in terms of learning makes it seamless. It’s amazing!”