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Press Release



November 19, 2003

Area eighth-graders get first-hand look at Cowley technical programs


Area eighth-graders get first-hand look at Cowley technical programsWelding Technology instructor Bob Moffatt demonstrates how to cut a beveled pipe to Wellington and Oxford students during the Industrial Technology Department's seventh annual Eighth-Grade Day on Wednesday.


A student in the eighth grade has lots of time to decide which career path to take.


The 85 eighth-graders from Arkansas City, Winfield, Wellington and Oxford who participated in Cowley County Community College’s seventh annual Eighth-Grade Day have at least a few things to think about after Wednesday.


The six Industrial Technology Department programs housed in Cowley’s Walker Industrial Technology building put on demonstrations throughout the morning. The eighth-grade students were divided into small groups, listened to Cowley instructors and current students, and received some hands-on experience.

Cliff Roderick’s Drafting Technology program allowed the students to build a simple car using computer aided drafting technology.


“I wanted them to know that this is Auto CAD and for them to get a basic feel for it,” Roderick said. “Eighth-graders are more interested in hands-on learning and what’s happening now. But this day could possibly open a door down the road that they may want to explore.”


Cowley’s Drafting, Automotive, Welding, Machine and Tool, Non-Destructive Evaluation and Agriculture programs were on display.


Ricky Young, Cowley’s Automotive Technology instructor, told the eighth-graders that the industry was becoming so computerized that people who used to be called mechanics are now called technicians.


“They do more than overhaul engines,” Young said. “Now, 90 percent of cars are computer controlled.


“We use a scan tool for diagnostics. By 2005, the common tool in a technician’s toolbox will be a laptop computer.”


Bob Moffatt, Cowley’s Welding Technology instructor, demonstrated how to cut a beveled pipe made of plain carbon steel. He also showed students parts that had been welded out of different materials.


Dan Squires, Cowley’s Machine and Tool Technology instructor, had his college students demonstrate the capabilities of several machines, including the CNC lathe.


“The (eighth-grade) students are young enough that I need to show them rather than tell them,” Squires said. “As a whole, most of the students seem interested.”

Squires gave each eighth-grader a tiny cup made on a CNC machine out of aluminum. He also had his students take a 2-inch by 2-inch block of aluminum and engrave the school mascots on it using another computerized machine.


Brett Butler, Cowley’s Agriculture instructor, presented the visiting students with statistics on the effect Kansas agriculture has on the state’s economy. He also talked about the changes the ag industry has endured throughout the decades.


“There are lots of different opportunities available,” Butler said. “You don’t have to be a farmer to be in agriculture. There’s jobs in everything from food safety to financial to marketing, you name it.”


Students also were given demonstrations of some of the tests used in NDT.


At the end of the morning, the eighth-graders were treated to a lunch of hotdogs, chips, cookies, and pop, and drawings were held for prizes.