Recently Kern High School District (KHSD) drafting teachers had an opportunity to go through some high quality professional development by partnering with Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc through the districts summer externship program. Teachers spent the day at the architectural offices learning about current trends in the industry.
Specifically they were presented with an overview of Graphisoft’s ARCHICAD software. This Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is used throughout the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Archicad is a flexible design tool offering 2D and 3D drafting as well as visualization and documentation functions to create three-dimensional, photo-realistic designs and detailed construction documentation.
Additionally, attendees were introduced to Graphisofts’s educational program that includes free licensing for students and teachers as well as a complete teacher-driven BIM curriculum and a video instructional course on learning and using the software. KHSD teachers are looking to pilot the software with their advanced students during the upcoming school year, which will help to prepare them with the skills necessary to get started in the industry. Finally, attendees explored the Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) that is currently under construction by using virtual reality technology implemented by Ordiz-Melby Architects using Oculus Rift goggles and Fuzor software.
These types of partnerships between industry and education are a staple of successful Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. The KHSD provided all of their CTE teachers the opportunity to participate in up to 30 externship hours this summer by partnering with businesses within the sectors that they teach. Pierre Peasha, a veteran drafting teacher at Centennial High stated about the externship program, “I know more about the industry now than I ever have.” Erin Hodson, KHSD’s Work Based Learning Coordinator who organized the program said, “Externships are a great way for CTE teachers to stay current with industry trends so that they can bring that information back into the classroom.” The KHSD plans to continue the summer externship program as it continues to grow CTE programs.