• In the United States, and specifically in Colorado, the average age of a machinist is 46, trending towards 50. This field will open significantly. In the greater Colorado Springs area, there are over 400 manufacturing businesses employing just under 12,000 people. Are you or your family members prepared to work in these fields? Is this something that I would even be good at or enjoy? How would I know?


    Sand Creek High School has one of a few Manufacturing Pathway’s on the Front Range. The pathway features Principles of Manufacturing,  Introduction to Machining, Manufacturing Capstone Course, and an incorporated Shop Safety program similar to an industry on-boarding process. 




    Principles of Manufacturing (POM)

    • Hands on work with bench, layout, machine, power and inspection tools
    • The Language of the Industry
    • Interpreting Engineering Drawings
    • Primary and Secondary Manufacturing Processes such as welding and machining
    • Shop Safety Certification
    • Materials science - what makes a good material for an application?
    • Project Planning, Design, Layout, Production of products

    Introduction to Machining (IM)

    • Introduction to machine shop and shop safety
    • Hands on work with:

    Engine Lathe

    Turning, Facing, Tapering, and Threading projects

    Vertical Mill

    Facing, End milling, hole making, and threading projects

    Horizontal bandsaw and Abrasive Cut-off saws

    Roughing project work to size

    Drill Presses

    Deburring and holemaking

    Assortment of tooling (twist drills, reamers, countersinks, counterbores, etc)

    For precision preparation, separation, and finishing work

    Welding and cutting (MIG, TIG, SMAW, Plasma, and Gas)

    Permanently joining and cutting project work and select operations by using extreme heat.

    Computer Numerical Control Machining

    CNC Mill machining of projects

    Manufacturing Capstone

    • How to lead student teams in a projects-based course. Course projects emerge from engineering demands from other courses and Projects from the SCHS community 
    • Use all your acquired skills and leverage the capabilities of our machining and welding shop. 
    • Round out your skills to perform as a working lead, fabricate, machine, plan, and estimate work.

    Welding Club (Career and Technical Social Organization - CTSO)

    • Welding and Cutting
    • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW aka Stick)
    • Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG)
    • Metal Inert Gas (MIG)
    • Oxygen-Acetylene
    • Plasma torch
    • Work your skills to compete in Skills USA sponsored competitions or just to learn about the trade/process


    Students also come away with enhanced math skills, understanding constructability, and improved ability to solve complex problems. The ability to plan, design, and build. Many students supplement this pathway with classes from our Engineering and Computer Science pathways. 

    Students graduate from our program and go to 4 year programs in STEM fields; other 4 year programs; 2 year programs in STEM and skilled trades; and certificate programs such as Machining, Welding, Computer Aided Design and Drafting offered at Pikes Peak Community College.

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  • There is a lot of talk about STEM, STEM programs, STEM careers, etc but many are hard pressed to explain what a STEM program is. STEM is Science, Engineering, and Math. It is more than students glueing some popsicle sticks together or dropping eggs in home-made parachutes. It is also wider than a student studying to become a licensed professional engineer in the traditional disciplines of civil, mechanical, computer, electrical, chemical, and naval engineering. Supporting all of these there are also a wide range of technical positions and skilled trades in these fields and emerging disciplines like industrial, biomechanical, building information systems, energy management, mechatronics, and materials. Undergirding these are the hard skills of fabrication, welding, and machining for production and prototyping.


    Manufacturing, whether it is additive (aka 3D printing) or traditional methods by machining, welding, assembly, or foundry processes all require a blend of hands on, science, engineering, math, and information technology. They also require problem solving, ability to see sequences, and think through spatial relationships. This is what this Pathway teaches students.