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Manufacturing Pathway "Gearing Up" for New School Year

Teachers from the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology Department at Sand Creek High School participated in professional development day on May 14th by welcoming a brand new, commercial JET vertical mill to the school’s Manufacturing Lab.  Custodial and District Facilities staff assisted in bringing the 2400 pound mill into the lab.


The new mill is a step forward in modernizing the lab for the launch of the redefined Manufacturing Pathway.  Jason Mackay, lead Manufacturing teacher, developed the new pathway to ensure students can learn to work in machining, metal fabrication, and welding industries by gaining hands on experience with commercial equipment. The pathway consists of three courses focused on hands on activities and skills. Principles of Manufacturing will introduce students to the basic concepts of modern manufacturing; Introduction to Machining will expand their knowledge of manufacturing and operating machining tools to produce parts; and a Manufacturing Capstone will allow them to design, plan, fabricate and machine a project of their own imagination.


Additional equipment has also arrived in time for the Fall 2021 launch.  A 1400 pound,Computer Numerical Control (CNC) plasma table and water jet cutting system will increase student’s knowledge of modern techniques as they solve engineering and manufacturing problems.   The new equipment features integrated computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software and allows for mass production of parts instead of lone pieces.  

lab equipment 

The modernization allows for projects across pathways, as the new equipment complements the 3D printers, CNC mill, and other newer capabilities of the Department’s Prototype Lab, which was opened in Fall 2018.  


The EM&T Department features not only the renewed Manufacturing Pathway, but also an Engineering Pathway and a Computer Science Pathway.  The three pathways complement each other and students are encouraged to take courses across multiple department pathways.   Students can start each pathway as early as freshman year.   Several courses allow students to pursue college level credits and grade point incentives, as many classes are graded on a 5-point scale instead of the usual 4-point scale.


Department Head, Nathan Wood, said “Our courses are not just for students who want to be engineers or programmers, or to go into a trade.  We teach problem solving, math skills and critical thinking.  Our new mill mirrors that found in industry and will prepare students to pursue internships or training in trade school. Our facilities allow us to teach skills such as drawing, modeling, precision measuring, and materials science.  Technology in all areas is rapidly advancing.”


For more information about the EMT pathways, contact Mr. Wood, Department Head (, Mr. Mackay (, Mr. Swanson, (, or Mrs. Kosman, (