180 Days - Class Provides Real Life Experience

180 Days - Class Provides Real Life Experience

Several students in the Ottumwa High School’s Advanced Electricity/Electronics course used skills learned in class to do some classroom upgrades.

Work stations in the classroom had been wired in the 1970s. The students, along with their instructor, Mark Anderson, decided to upgrade the outlets as part of a classroom project. Students did all the electrical wiring, installed up-to-date ground fault indicator outlets and USB charging stations. They also installed a new counter top. The result:  22 newly-wired stations for future students to use.

“The work represented a real life application,” said Adrian Espinosa, an OHS junior.

“You could use this knowledge in your house,” said Jacinto Rivera, a senior. “You could add an outlet or replace a receptacle. You could even add a new circuit.” Rivera plans to attend Indian Hills next year in their construction trades program.

The project resulted in a major improvement, according to Espinosa. “This could last a few more decades,” he said.

Another industrial technology instructor, Ron Downing, is a licensed electrician. He inspected the work to ensure everything was done correctly and up to code.

“The project provided hands-on experience,” said Espinosa.

Students also learned to work together as a team, according to Angel Najarro. Students had to figure how much material they needed to complete the project. They also figured project cost. They labeled each outlet and can turn each one on and off at the breaker box.

The advanced students have taken electricity course work for three years.

Another student used skills learned in Electricity/Electronics to repair several DC power sources that didn’t work. Robert Aszman just completed his second electricity course. He started troubleshooting the power sources and fixed about 50% of those not working. “The troubleshooting process of elimination provides a real life experience,” he said.

“This is one of the best advanced electricity classes I’ve had,” said Anderson, who will retire at the end of this school year. “I was just going to do one set of outlets. It took a month to do the first one, a week to do the second, and the last one took no time at all.”

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