Career oriented technologies mimic real-life scenarios

Computers, smart boards and graphing calculators make up the basic technology that educate students in their core classes at Southwest Career and Technical Academy. The career programs areas at SWCTA, however, involve certain specific pieces of technology that provide real-world practices. This technology goes beyond what regular classroom tools can teach.

In Culinary, students are provided with a kitchen that is similar to a commercial kitchen today to perform their abilities.

“Digital and programmable ovens are important in this program. This technology allows you to cook roasts and create minimal shrinkage while maintaining sanitation guidelines,” said Culinary Program Leader, Chef Allen Asch.

Dental Assisting students have the opportunity to work in an environment that is similar to a real dentist’s office. There are dental chairs, mirrors, cotton swabs, impression trays, filling instruments, and more.

“Next year I’m looking forward to experiencing what is like to be a dentist without actually being in a dental office,” said sophomore Tina Tsoi.

Students in the Fashion Design program use sewing machines to create their clothing and accessories for class. Computerized sewing machines allow for more options than mechanical machines or sewing by hand, as they can automatically set a stitch length, width, and adjust the tension.

“My students use computerized sewing machines. Without them, we would not be sewing; well perhaps we would sew by hand.  That is the single most important piece of equipment for my program,” said Fashion Design Program teacher, Ms. Glenna Gaudy.

For the Automotive Technology students, the equipment is representative of what can be found in today’s car repair shops. There are even cars available for students to practice their skills on.

“The equipment that we have is the same or better than the students will have available to them for use in the industry. Learning with the best equipment available lets you get a better understanding of how to diagnose and repair vehicles. Then when you don’t have the equipment you can still diagnose and repair, it just takes more time, as you are using alternate methods,” said Automotive Technology Program teacher, Mr. Daniel Sylvester.

Sometimes there can be malfunctions in mechanical equipment. However, it still allows students to get a feel for what could happen in the “real world.” They can learn how to work through these problems and fix them or learn how to manage without the equipment, before they are even hired into the field.

“The technology is helpful, even if it doesn’t cooperate with us sometimes, because it represents what we will see in our career,” said junior Mabelle Mati.

Technology at SWCTA plays a large role in the student’s education. Students are able to learn skills that they would not be able to with regular classroom materials. These different kinds of technology create job-like atmospheres to prepare the students for a career.