Assignment: Education - Innovation Room

A new class helps students gain manufacturing skills

Published On: Jan 31 2012 07:34:01 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 01 2012 08:39:25 AM CST
Assignment: Education - Innovation Room

CASHTON, WIs. -- Mrs. Mosley's class is a hands-on production and manufacturing class.

"It's a 2-hour block of time third and fourth hour every day that the kids design projects and then produce," said Sarah Mosley, special education inclusion teacher at Cashton Middle and High School.

The class is called Innovations Lab. The students learn and use computer programs like Photoshop and Corell Draw to create, for example, a t-shirt design. They, then, are able to learn the skills needed to actually manufacture the t-shirt by working on a screen printer in their classroom.

"So, what we're tying to do is give them skills that will help them be successful and build, maybe, a resume to get a job right out of high school which is great for a lot of these students," said Mosley.

The students Mrs. Mosley is referring to are her special education students at Cashton High School.

"What we have is the group of special education students who are in this for transition services to prepare them for life beyond high school," said Mosley.

They learn the skills needed to use equipment like a screen printer, a vinyl cutter and a laser engraver. In total, the innovations lab has five pieces of equipment all purchased with federal stimulus dollars earmarked for special education. And so far the students have enjoyed their experience.

"It's really fun," said Alex Mlsna, Bangor High School senior. "Just you make your own design."

And parents have been pleased with this opportunity to help prepare their children for life after high school.

"He talks about going to college. But then he talks about going into the military. He talks about working with his dad. And I think everything that he learns in here he can use in all of those areas," said Carey Perry, parent of a special education student.

Which may help open more opportunities for these students as they begin their life after high school.

"My hope is that kids can gain skills here," said Mosley. "They can enter the workforce and not need the added support for employment and these sorts of things that have been typical in the past."