Pre-Engineering Program Expansion Offers STEM Education to More Students

Jonathon Knapp will teach Algebra II and Introduction to Engineering Design to sophomores enrolled in Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Pre-Engineering program through embedded classes at both Chickasha and Ninnekah high schools.

AUGUST 18, 2016

CHICKASHA – A new school year has dawned at Canadian Valley Technology Center, and along with it the school’s newest program makes an appearance on campus for the first time.

CV Tech’s Pre-Engineering was launched last year as an embedded program for sophomores at Chickasha High School.

This year, the 13 juniors enrolled in the program will spend half their school day at CV Tech’s Chickasha Campus with instructor Julia Cook.

Sophomores will remain offsite in the embedded program at their high school.

An additional embedded Pre-Engineering class will be provided at Ninnekah High School for sophomores from Ninnekah, and those bused in from both Alex and Rush Springs. CV Tech has hired Jonathon Knapp of Central High near Marlow to teach sophomores.

The academy concept is the first of its kind at CV Tech. Student Services Director Ronnie Bogle said the program worked very well the first year. He said he is excited to have students on campus for the program that admittedly represents an evolutionary shift in curriculum for a technology center.

“We’re thrilled to offer this very academically challenging program,” Bogle said. “The purpose is purely in helping our area students succeed in college with fields of study that have historically resulted in extremely high turnover ratios.”

These include, of course, a wide array of engineering majors, as well as computer science and mathematics.

Cook said many college engineering majors fall behind very quickly without the benefit of having known what engineering really is or how to study very intense math and science curriculum within the major.

Nearly half of bachelor’s degree candidates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leave the field before completing a college degree, according to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics.

That’s where Canadian Valley comes in. Bogle said the ultimate goal is filling the occupational needs of Oklahoma companies who are desperately searching for highly qualified graduates in these fields.

Sophomores enrolled in Pre-Engineering at CV Tech study Algebra II and Introduction to Engineering Design in the embedded class at the high school sites.

Juniors, then, study algebra and trigonometry, both of which qualify for college credit through Redlands Community College, Cook said. They also study Principles of Engineering.

Cook will introduce students this year to the challenging VEX Robotics competition and will have a remote control airplane team that will compete at Speedfest. This annual competition is sponsored by Oklahoma State University’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.  

Finally, as seniors, Pre-Engineering students study upper-level physics that is calculus-based and is similar to AP Physics C, Cook said.

“Students are going to get hands-on experience to determine if this is what they want to do,” she said.

CV Tech’s Cowan Campus in Yukon has enjoyed marked success with a Pre-Engineering program for the past 10 years, though at this time that program is solely for juniors and seniors.

Chickasha sophomores interested in enrolling in Pre-Engineering are encouraged to call CV Tech counselor Traci McNeff at 224-7553.