Interested students from the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades from the five Carbon County school districts converged at the Carbon Career & Technical Institute to learn about a the school's newest program, a course in Design Drafting.

"We would like to start a drafting design course at CCTI for the 2011-2012 school year," said CCTI administrative director Dave Reinbold. "We want to interest Carbon County students in the program by offering presentations."

The program, which will focus on architectural, civil and mechanical drafting, was delivered by professionals in the field with the objective of presenting the curriculum, provide an understanding of the job market, and explain what CCTI would offer.

Last year, CCTI began the process to get course approval from the State Department of Education and the Bureau for Career and Technical Education.

"We did that and have a course approved by the State," Reinbold said. "Now it's our job to get the enrollment, get the students interested in it, and hire a teacher. It's quite a project."

Dave Weng, a mechanical engineer at KME Fire Apparatus in Nesquehoning, spoke about using computer-aided design to engineer Fire Apparatus.

"I want to show the students what they can do if they enroll in this class, and what are their career options and opportunities," he said.

Weng presented slides illustrating two-dimensional and three-dimensional design drawings used in the creation of fire fighting vehicles.

"Designing is taking ideas and putting them into a drawing so that it can be buildable," he explained. "We use 2D and 3D drawings to verify that all pieces will fit."

He recommends drafting design for a person that likes to figure things out, enjoys the creativity in coming up with a design, and is diligent to apply the techniques to make sure that everything works.

"I like to come up with the design and to see it built at the end of the process," he said.

Gary Lavieri of Allegheny Educational Systems demonstrated the Dimension uPrint 3D printer, a machine that produces a three-dimensional plastic model from a 3D CAD file.

Lavieri, who is based out of Hazleton, described the uPrint as a three dimensional printer used as a rapid prototyping machine. The machine builds a model, layer by layer from plastic line. The version of the machine that he demonstrated could create a prototype of up to eight inches by eight inches by six inches in several hours.

The plastic model could be used to evaluate the design, and if the design passes, can be used to cast metal parts. CCTI plans to acquire this machine once the course registration is completed.

(As Lavieri presentation was concluding his presentation, a fire alarm sounded and the CCTI building was evacuated. The following, from individual interviews, is the way the program would have proceeded.)

Kevin Godshall of Godshall Kane Architects, the architect of the addition to the CCTI building, spoke about architectural design.

"I want to tell the students how I look at the world," he said. "What you see in this new wing took an awful lot of planning. After this presentation, I'd like you to look at this building in a little different way, to see all the work that went into it."

He presented early drawings and models used for planning, and working drawings to document what was built.

Asked, what type of person would be interested in architecture, he replied, "One who is interested in details, very clean in their process, very careful in planning, comfortable working with a computer, and has a good visual sense of three dimensions."

Heather Mullen, admissions representative at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Carbon County told the students they can still go to college, even from a technical institute such as CCTI.

"In the past, a technical education used to mean-do your schooling and get on to the workforce-college prep was the way to go in high school," she said. "But it's not anymore."

"LCCC offers the same types of programs at a traditional school as we do here. Dual enrollment is a primary example of that. It allows students to earn college credit while they are still in high school or at CCTI.

"You can also transfer credits into LCCC by obtaining good standing at your school and applying into a program that matches your technical area at CCTI."

The CCTI Design Drafting program is open to an anticipated 20 students. It will focus on computer-assisted design once the students are comfortable with the basics of manual drafting.