Hoping to help students save money on college courses, Salem High School continues to offer more dual credit classes where students are able to receive a college credit and high school credit while still in high school. One of those classes is Advanced Manufacturing, which is taught by John Calhoun. He has been teaching for six years. Along with manufacturing, he teaches Biology Honors, Chemistry 1 and 2.
When Calhoun was asked how he would describe the class for others, he said, “Manufacturing is a class that introduces students to what it is like to make a product. You will look at all aspects of manufacturing goods, such as starting with design, engineering, setting up a factory, marketing, shipping and returns. We focus on different processes such as additive manufacturing (3D Printing, etc.) and subtractive manufacturing (CNC machining, etc.), along with robotics, efficiency, safety and much more. It is a hands-on course, with around half the class working with equipment using PPE. Whereas the other half is working on Ivy Tech courses online on IvyLearn learning. Students rotate on who’s working with equipment and who's working online.”
Some of the machines available for students to use include three 3D printers, a plastic extrusion machine, sewing machines, a laser cutter (another coming soon), a variety of power tools for woodworking, a CNC router that’s coming soon The new CNC machine is a router which is a rotating arm for the woodworking projects, whereas the new laser machine is able to cut through metal, wood, plastic, fiberglass, and many more materials.
With all of these machines accessible to the students, the question of “How was this affordable and accessible for Salem Community Schools?” comes up. Calhoun said, “I have gotten grants from many sources, including the Washington County Community Foundation, Indiana Manufacturers Association, Conexus, Workforce of Indiana and many more.”
Seeing as with all the financial support systems, the school and Calhoun have provided a great learning space within SCS. Calhoun said, “I believe it’s had a positive impact upon students. It's given them career path interests and has allowed them to be creative, design, build and practice making objects and useful items. For others it has given them insight on how factories work so they can use these hands-on skills in their studies of technology and engineering.”
Calhoun added, “it can be a challenging course to teach and learn because students have a variety of backgrounds, interests and abilities.”
He said he thinks it is an important part of SHS because students will someday end up working in manufacturing. “Even if they don't, we all use products and it is important to understand how consumer goods get from raw material to finished products.”
Junior Corey Zieglar said he took Advanced Manufacturing because manufacturing has a role in farm equipment.
“This was a class that looked interesting and beneficial to my future. The energy from the class is more than what was to be expected. Goofy Ol’ Calhoun is a wonderful teacher. I have learned so much about manufacturing this year and I am able to use a laser cutting machine.”
Senior Abby Wright said, “I took this class because I am on the course to graduate early and this is a dual credit program, which helps on my transcript for college. Calhoun's personality is funny.”
Senior Scott Kelly said, “I wasn't able to do the manufacturing-type classes in Prosser so I took advantage of taking Advanced Manufacturing in the school. I have learned quite a bit about manufacturing and woodworking. It's also a college credit which will go upon my transcript if I decide to go to college.”