$5,000 Gift –  SDS Lumber Buys Safety Equipment

The Columbia HS Material Science and Construction program is breathing a sigh of relief. In a recent effort to upgrade basic tools in the shop, one particular item was in dire need. John Hadley, CHS Instructor, requested $5,000 from the WSVEF to defray the costs of a saw stop, which is an industrial-grade cabinet saw with a safety system that stops on contact with human skin. There have not been any serious accidents and we want to keep it that way.

The WSVEF had more grant requests than funds in this recent cycle and working with SDS Lumber was a natural fit. Jason Spadaro, President, understood the need for safety and the overall goal to help prepare students for well-paying careers in high-demand local industries.  SDS gifted the $5,000 through the Ed Foundation to the program.

Program and grant request details:

“Currently, our more advanced students are using computer-assisted manufacturing programs like Sketchup and Autocad to undertake and plan more complex projects than ever before.  They are using our newly acquired CNC router, Laser CAM and 3-D printing to accomplish projects that would have been near-impossible five years ago. In the process students are developing real-world skills and a deeper understanding of materials science, engineering and computer applications.”

“We would like to extend this work program-wide by adding and replacing certain equipment, developing our fabrication curriculum and receiving teacher training through an externship. Our metalworking program needs a ten-gauge brake, metal lathes, and a MIG welder to increase the range of what our students can accomplish and to improve work flow and efficiency in our metal shop. With this new equipment, our students can acquire skills that prepare them for work as high-tech fabricators, technicians, and millwrights.” 

“Likewise, our Materials Science and Construction program needs to upgrade several antiquated pieces of equipment, including a drill-press, helical head jointer, saw stop and band saw for efficiency and student safety. Upgrading these machines to industry-standard will also prepare our students for real world careers in construction, fabrication and manufacturing. The addition of an industry-level Laser CAM that can be used with the CNC router and other production machines will give students the opportunity to take their skills to a higher, more competitive level.” 

“Through this program, students will engage in diverse learning opportunities that promote critical thinking and utilization of 21st century technology. They will learn to solve problems and build high-quality products.  They will practice critical “soft” skills such as time management, collaboration and persistence skills. We will continue to require students to work both collaboratively and independently; advanced students will mentor the beginners.”

Thankfully a funder was found for the saw stop and the students are in a safer environment. Thank you SDS Lumber! There are still needs. The WSVEF is working with our community to provide a community of kids with a world of opportunity. Make a donation today!

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