LHS students carve out their own niche

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Students in Ben McCoy’s woods program at London High School designed and made this entrance sign for Choctaw Lake using computers and a computer-controlled machine.

London High School’s video production classes are popular and well known. Ben McCoy wants the same for another facet of the industrial arts technology program—the woods department.

“I want to make the program relevant to today,” said the first-year teacher in a presentation during the Nov. 17 London school board meeting.

McCoy’s goal is to teach students how to use their hands and brains to put the information they learn in their core classes to work. He laid the groundwork last year as a student-teacher under the tutelage of Alan Frank; he now runs the program.

Using AutoCAD and CNC technology, students have designed and created entrance signs for Choctaw Lake, trash cans for the school district, and a student-of-the-month sign in conjunction with the art class, among other projects.

AutoCAD is computer-aided design soft-ware used for two- and three-dimensional design and drafting. CNC, which stands for computer numerical control, is a computer controller that reads coded commands and drives a machine tool to make components by selective removal of material.

“Our woods program gives our students an opportunity that the nicest schools in the state don’t have,” said McCoy, explaining that other schools have the design software but not the machinery to actually make the items the students design.

Students in London High School’s woods department created this cut-out using a graphic from a 1991 yearbook.

McCoy wasn’t the only new teacher to make a presentation to the school board on Nov. 17. Dana Snyder, London’s new FFA advisor and agriculture teacher, taught in Mount Gilead for 11 years before coming to London, a job that has allowed her to return to her roots in nearby Clark County. She replaces Wendi Stachler.

After introducing herself, Snyder turned the floor over to four students who traveled to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Using PowerPoint, Eric Downing, Joseph Harris, Megan Lewis and Leslie Woolever reviewed the highlights of the trip: a tour of the Wilson factory where NFL footballs are made, a tour of Universal Lettering where FFA jackets are made, a stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (home of the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Brickyard 500), a career show with 700 exhibitors, and presentations that featured as speakers a Hollywood stunt-woman, a comedian and a country singer.

Harris noted that a record number of FFA members attended this year’s convention—54,731 students from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He found at least one person from each state and Puerto Rico and got their autographs.

All totaled, there are 507,763 FFA students in 7,439 chapters across the country. Ohio ranks fifth in membership with 21,531 members in 317 chapters.

The other London FFA students who attended the convention were Alex LeMaster, Amanda Plummer and Marissa Worrix.

For details, call 740-852-5705.

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