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Open house showcases technology at BOCES classrooms (VIDEO)

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Greg D. Covell had little real estate on the chess board as his king fled from the king and queen of Amber S. Fay. As he slid his final piece toward the corner, the game’s outcome was only a few moves away.

Checkmate.

The intricate plastic pieces Amber moved during the game were of her own making, designed on a computer and manufactured with a 3-D printer over the course of two months at the Charles H. Bohlen Technical Center.

Though many of the pieces featured intricate diamond cuts in their design, some of the knights were bases of plastic holding up cardboard.

“A lot of trial and error,” she said.

Amber, 17, a senior at Sackets Harbor Central School, said she could see herself using the SolidWorks program she used in her high school work for college courses. She said she was applying to multiple schools, and also is considering Jefferson Community College.

The 3-D printer was one of several pieces of technology on display Wednesday night during an open house at the center, a part of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Also featured during the evening were multiple class demonstrations, displays and simulators representing the wide range of fields with classes at the school. Culinary students could be seen serving pies, while cosmetology students tested their hair and nail styling techniques. A crowd gathered in the small-animal care classroom as a mouse was fed to a large snake.

“It’s hands-on education,” said Russell K. Berger, the center’s principal.

Over at the welding classroom, Damian L. Zimmer, a sophomore at Lyme Central School, Chaumont, had an impressive run with a welding simulator that the school borrowed for the evening. He scored 88 out of 100 in his lone attempt, as about 10 people watched his handiwork on a nearby monitor.

The 15-year-old said he was considering taking classes at the center.

“It’s pretty cool to see what it’s like,” Damian said. “It wouldn’t be a bad job to look at.”

Donald B. Snyder, who teaches the welding class, said the simulator was something the school was looking to integrate permanently, as it would save money in supplies and give students a chance to review their work at different angles.

Mr. Berger said the center was looking to add new technology classes to its curriculum, such as a machinist program. The wide range of available resources, Mr. Berger said, gave plenty of opportunities for the center’s youth and adult students.

“Anything a person wants to do, they can learn here,” he said.

Video from Thursday’s open house can be found at http://wdt.me/Bohlen-openhouse.

Open house at Charles H. Bohlen Technical Center
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