January 17th , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Virtual painting and 3-D printing gives students a chance to explore outside the lines

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In the past, Carter County hasn’t had the reputation of being at the forefront of the technological revolution.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Unaka High senior Andrew Long crouches down to ‘paint’ the underside of a virtual gas tank using the virtual spray painting program at UHS.

A survey conducted by Connected Tennessee in 2010 revealed that 39 percent of county residents didn’t have Internet access. In the same study, 32 percent said they didn’t own a computer.

But a Carter County Schools initiative may be turning that around by bringing some of today’s most-sophisticated technology into classrooms.

Students at two schools recently began working with that advanced equipment: a virtual spray painting program at Unaka High School, and a three-dimensional printer at Hampton High School.

Mickey Taylor, Carter County Schools’ director of career & technology education, said he wanted this equipment to propel Carter County Schools into the technological foreground.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Computer aided drafting instructor Daniel Arnett (right) describes the function of the 3-D printer while senior Alex Yates (left) looks on.

“My goal since I took over has been to get the latest, most cutting-edge technologies we could get,” Taylor said. “I wanted to get major pieces of equipment, instead of nickel-and-diming things and not having anything to show for it.”

Both machines have been heralded in the technology world as the latest and greatest in their respective fields.

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