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TAYLORVILLE — Hands-on learning has always been a focus of Agriculture Education and specifically for the Agriculture Mechanics classes at THS. Taylorville students have always had the opportunity to experience great things in agriculture classes whether it is working in the greenhouse, learning how to make flower arrangements or working with their hands tearing down small engines. With technology, changing so has some of the curriculum in the agriculture classes. Since March of 2019 students have had the opportunity to learn how to design projects on laptops and then make those designs come to life by cutting them out on the CNC machine. From there they are able to weld and design even more advanced projects.
This year Ag Mechanics 2 and Ag Machinery were able to use the CNC machine. They mastered the software, designed fire pits, cut them out and then welded them together. Currently, those classes along with Chris Hartwig and Abby Erlenbush are designing and cutting custom orders for various county fairs and section and chapter banquets.
The focus right now for students in Agriculture Mechanics 1 is to learn how to properly stick weld, currently they are working on running beads using a 6013 rod. Once students have mastered that they will be able to design and fabricate a welding project of their choice to round out the year. Agriculture Mechanics 2 has moved onto advanced wood projects. They are building feed bunks to sell. Students are using an old feed bunk design as a key to make new eight and four foot bunks for livestock.
It is known that the job openings in the trade industry such as welding are endless. Many people feel as though all students should attend college after high school, but that could not be farther from the truth. As we, all know college is not for everyone and for many students working in the trade industry is a great path for them. Being able to take classes at THS and learn opportunities that are out there is a great thing. With so many options offered to students it gives them a feel for what they like and dislike. “I think it is important that students know all of their options, college is not made for everyone and a lot of the students I see daily want to be up moving and working with their hands. So that is where a trade school is right up their alley,” says agriculture teacher Katie King.