A new high school class is helping math and manufacturing come to life for students who want to pursue skilled trades and find meaning in the math they are learning today.

Soft SkillsAt Sedro-Woolley High School in Washington, engineering students in Dave Young’s class are working with an AutoCad program, a laser etching machine, and other technologies to design and create items as manufacturers would.

“I got a picture online, then I just drew them,” said 18 year old Davis Mihelich, speaking about the chess set he made using AutoCad and laser etching. “It’s pretty simple.”

This year, Young decided to create a new class, which added to the math and manufacturing courses he has taught for 19 years.  Throughout that time, students have asked the question “When am I going to use this?”  Young decided it was time they can see the answer in front of them.

AMPED is the new class, short for Algebra, Manufacturing, Process, Entrepreneurship, and Design. One of the first applications through the year was to develop and run a T-shirt printing business.

“This business helps us show how math relates,” he said. “It was almost about $8,000 in revenue. That’s where you get the algebra. (It’s) in the invoices, business models and stuff like that. The manufacturing is the T-shirt printing press.”

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