HURLEY - Hurley School District teacher Dan Rye on Monday showed school board members how seventh and eighth grade students will better be prepared for high school technology classes.
Rye said two new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics classes will be offered at the school. He indicated the classes will better prepare students for some of the areas on state standard tests where they haven't been performing up to state averages.
The classes will cover electronics, alternative energy, physics, chemistry, lighting and sound, among other areas.
"With the STEM classes, we're bringing in the engineering process to the classrooms," Rye said.
Seventh and eighth grade students will learn robotics and computer-aided designing, preparing them for the Northwoods Manufacturing program in the high school wood and metals shops.
During Monday's regular monthly school board meeting, Rye displayed a machine called a Makerbot Replicator that was purchased for $3,500 with funds provided by the Hurley Education Foundation.
The machine can produce plastic items such as iPhone cases in large quantities. Other students have designed deer heads and fishing lures with the use of the machine, which makes use of plastic from discarded bottles.
It's part of the district's push to prepare students who may not want to attend college for the work world.
School-to-work training has been stepped up in metals and woodworking classes. The Northwoods Manufacturing metals and wood shops were previously recognized by the school board as official student activity organizations.
Students raise money that goes into a general account and provides some profits for themselves, as well.