District exceeds county in technology
By SHENA ABERCROMBIE
The West Valley News
January 13, 1994
Carman-Ainsworth students now have access to one of the most technologically advanced computer labs in Michigan.
Last summer, Carman-Ainsworth and Bit by Bit Computing of Grand Blanc installed Computer Aided Designs (CAD) and Business Computer Labs in the high school.
The CAD Lab is said to be one of the most technology advanced labs in the state. It is also used at companies like Ford and General Motors.
Mark Christenson, educational consultant for Bit by Bit Computing, said the CAD Lab gives students the ability to use and learn programs that are readily used in the working world, which in turn helps them get into the job market more easily.
If they decide to go to college they have skills to go into advanced studies, said Christenson.
"I am personally impressed with some of the technical levels that these students have reached," he said. "The students have produced CAD drawings that would impress top engineers."
In Edward Hugan's class, students are working on three different programs during the same class hour. "They really like these computers" said Hugan. "We have students who are studying to be architects, mechanical and pre-engineers. It's kind of challenging to have three different programs in one hour."
The system also allows Hugan to monitor each student on a computer located at his desk. He is even able to input help for each student working on a program.
For those students studying the architectural aspects of the program, one computer in the class is linked to a bit drill that will cut out the shape or piece that the student has designed.
Architectural designs line the wails of the classroom where students have designed their own homes, which could just as easily be found in the office of a professional architect.
"This is the most advanced system in Genesee County as far as high schools." said Christenson. "I've installed other computer systems in schools like Grand Blanc and Clio, but they're the Auto-CAD version 9 and 10. Carman-Ainsworth has version 12 which gives other possibilities in graphics. This is what the industry is upgrading to. It gives more of a realistic picture."
An example is the chair senior Jeremy Ashcroft designed.
"It took me about a week to do it," said Ashcroft. "It's really easy once you learn the command codes."
Along with the CAD Lab, students have exposure to the Business Lab, which is designed to teach students how to use the most up-to-date software used in the business world.
The package includes WordPerfect, Lotus and others used as standards in the business industry.
Administrators say the goal of the school through this lab is to prepare students with knowledge that can be used in the business world, by giving students hands-on experience.
It will also leave students better equipped to find employment in the workplace.
In both cases (CAD Lab and the Business Lab), we were upgrading the systems that we initiated a number of years ago," said Margaret Clinton, business manager at
"We are preparing the students for the job industry. These are both vocational programs. It's just one of our attempts at preparing our students to go out and find employment."
Clinton said Carman-Ainsworth has done a number of things in the upgrading and placement of equipment.
"Some of our students trained in the business lab could walk into our own offices and be ready for the programs that we have there," she said. "We have also trained a number of secretaries in the new word processing programs. We're just trying to gel into the real world and we're really excited about the new program."
Today at the high school, Bit by Bit will sponsor an Open Lab Day at 2:30 p.m. to show the public the achievements that have been reached.
"Some of the students from the high school will be demonstrating their talents," said Christenson. "We will have publications to
describe the rooms and students to show their work."