After conducting classes in makeshift quarters for the first two years, the engineering program at Carson High School debuted its new laboratory Friday morning.
“It’s a clearly defined space,” said engineering teacher Nate Girdner. “We have a place where we can actually show the kids current engineering technology.”
The lab was converted from the school’s former wrestling and weight room.
During the grand opening ceremony, Ben Contine, community outreach coordinator for the Carson City School District, explained the project was part of the bond passed by voters in 2010.
“This is a community lab,” Contine said. “The community stepped up and said, this is important, and funded it through a bond.”
Girdner said students begin with an introductory-level course then progress to higher levels. He expects to streamline that process in the future.
“Similar to UNR, we’re hoping to add a third year where they could pick a path — aero, mechanical ...,” he said. “For the fourth year, they would come back together for a project-based class.”
Seth Hadd, 14, is taking the introduction to engineering class as a freshman.
“I’ve always been an engineering person,” he said. “To me, this fits my liking. It’s fun.”
He said he will continue to pursue the field, and would have started sooner if he could have.
“If they did this in middle school, I would have done it,” he said.
Jim Bean, who started teaching engineering this year, said it’s gratifying to see students take an idea and transform it into a three-dimensional object.
“This is a dream job come true,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to teach a class like this.”
Industry and manufacturing leaders joined school officials and community dignitaries at the grand opening and ribbon cutting.
“This is truly a gratifying morning for our community, school district and business community,” said Mayor Bob Crowell. “This ribbon today is particularly important because this is where business really starts.”