SparkTank is an INNOVATIVE program where students engage in AUTHENTIC learning experiences while learning PROFESSIONAL and TECHNICAL skills as they complete real-world projects. Programming at SparkTank is based on collaboration between Ottumwa Community School District and business, industry and other organizations to provide authentic learning experiences for students through problem/project-based learning opportunities. Students at SparkTank are immersed in a professional culture, solve real-world problems, receive high school elective and college credit, experience personalized learning, are mentored by local business employees, explore different career possibilities, and learn and practice Employability Skills in authentic situations and environments. Career Strand opportunities include:

  • Engineering
  • Technology Communications
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Business
  • Health and Human Services.

Grade=11-12, Fall Semester 3 Periods=3 CR, No Prerequisite 
IHCC Concurrent Credit MFG932-Internship

Student in SparkTank Engineering and Design are part of cross-discipline team within a growing engineering design firm and work alongside professionals on projects for industry, education, government, and commercial clients. Students are exposed to multiple design professions including architecture, interior design, structural and mechanical engineering, electrical and civil engineering, landscape architecture and surveying. Students gain experience with the design process and begin to develop an understanding of construction technology and technical aspects of the building environment. #9030

Grade=11-12, Spring Semester 3 Periods=3 CR, No Prerequisite
IHCC Concurrent Credit MFG932-Internship if a student has not previously taken this course

This course focuses on lean manufacturing, project management, and the various jobs and responsibilities reflected within a large scale engineering/architecture/manufacturing/construction project. Students learn about the high-demand and high paying careers that include but are not limited to: process engineering, fabrication, machine design, and materials handling. Students are connected to industry partners to explore projects and career opportunities such as manufacturing engineer, process development engineer, control systems, etc. #90302

Grade=11-12, Fall Semester 3 Periods=3 CR, No Prerequisite
IHCC Concurrent Credit GRD110-Introduction to Computer Graphics

Blending communications with technology and linking student’s passions for creativity, students in SparkTank will explore the world that technology offers in the ever-changing world of technological communications. Students are partnered with organizations to explore solutions such as marketing strategies, logos, business cards, and graphic design pieces. #9031

Grade=11-12, Spring Semester 3 Periods=3 CR, No Prerequisite
IHCC Concurrent Credit BCA185-Beginning Webpage Development

Students in this SparkTank program will have the opportunity to build websites, test beta versions of software and learn programming languages alongside experts in the field. Every company needs to use digital technology every day in their business. Connect your passions with digital technology and be ready for your future.  #90312

Grade 10-12, Year 2 AM-Periods=4 CR, Prerequisite=Intro to Metals 2

The class focuses on all aspects of today’s manufacturing industry including quoting, ordering, manufacturing, shipping, receiving, invoicing, customer service, recordkeeping, and maintaining equipment.  

Students will manage a machine and fabrication shop. Projects will be a combined collaboration between education, business, and community. Students will design, construct, rework, and finish projects pending instructor approval. Students will document regular progress on their projects including changes in the design, re-work, and improvements in addition to documenting plans, designs, and details of materials used, progress and changes. Projects will incorporate technology and equipment in the metals lab. Students will develop proficiency in oxy acetylene gas, cutting, MIG & TIG welding, as well as PlasmaCAM, machine lathe, milling, grinding and tool sharpening. Developing time management skills to meet deadlines is emphasized by the instructor. 

Students will also have the opportunity to work on personal projects, Passion Projects. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase any supplies and materials needed to complete their passion project. This may include but is not limited to motors, wheels, tires, paint, steel or other metals needed.

Grade=11-12, Year 3 Periods=6 CR, No Prerequisite
IHCC Concurrent Credit, Yr 1=CON276, 277, 278, 450, 452, 454 & Yr 2=CON451, 453, 455

The class focuses on all aspects of today’s construction industry. Emphasis is placed on using daily math skills, following directions, teamwork, and the desire to learn carpentry skills. Bulldog Construction is designed to help students acquire specific carpentry skills and competencies. Students operate hand and power tools following occupational safety procedures at all times. Students receive instruction in multiple areas including roofing, concrete, wall construction, floor installation, insulation procedures, siding, drywall and taping applications, and door and window installation. Additional skills learned include electrical, plumbing, and sheet metal processes. The program uses a three-pronged approach utilizing classroom instruction, laboratory practice and worksite applications. The classroom and laboratory components are located at the Ottumwa High School, while the worksite facet occurs on site at a project house. The goal is for students to build an average 1200-1400 square foot house each year. Students may complete two years of the IHCC Construction Technology program to earn their 4-term IHCC Construction Technology diploma.

Grade=10-12, 2 Periods Semester=2 CR, No Prerequisite

SparkTank Ignite is a project-based experience engaging teams of students in partnership with the workforce in solving real problems and contributing to the betterment of our local and global community. Experience is grounded in employability skills. Student learning and performance will focus on 21st Century Employability Skills from the Iowa Core. Authentic problems will lead to project ideas and students’ passions will be matched to projects. 

Grade=11-12, 2 Periods Semester=2 CR Prerequisite=Interview with School-to-Work coordinator/designee. Acceptance determine by coordinator, administrator, and teacher recommendation. In addition, students must be enrolled in 4 additional credits during the semester.

School-to-work is an opportunity to experience career opportunities in a natural work setting. Goals are typically set cooperatively by the student, teacher, and employer (although students are not necessarily paid). These courses may include classroom activities as well, involving further study of the field or discussion regarding experiences that students encounter in the workplace. Students would be at the job site two periods per day for one semester. Students would not be paid during their work experience during school hours. If you are interested in a career field and it is not listed below, please communicate with your school counselor.  The student will be expected to: 1. Report to the job site on time and work with a good attitude. 2. Learn as much about the place of employment as possible. 3. Use technology as a tool to access information and solve problems. 4. Display the ability to effectively manage time and resources. 5. Display the ability to set goals, solve problems and persevere.

Possible Fields

  • Agribusiness (18248)
  • Animal Systems (18148)
  • Communication (11048)
  • Cosmetology (19148)
  • Drafting (21148)
  • Education (19198)
  • Engineering and Technology (21998)
  • Electricity/Electronics (17148)
  • Finance (12148)
  • Government, Politics and Law (04198)
  • Health Care Sciences (14998)
  • Hospitality and Tourism (16998)
  • Human Services (19998)
  • Information Technology (10998)
  • Marketing (12198)
  • Mechanics and Repair (20148)
  • Technology (21098)
  • Travel and Tourism (16198