December 20, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 51

Forest Service gives to Schools

Nick Popp, Petersburg High School's Vocational Shop Teacher, addressed the Petersburg City School District School Board in order to bring the board up to date with the equipment that was given to PCSD through a Forest Service grant that began some years ago.

The history of the Forest Service grant began several years ago with Paul Anderson. Anderson, at the time was on the Resource Advisory Board, RAC.

Popp explained that RAC was spending a lot of money on signs for the Tongass National Forest and Anderson suggested that RAC and the Forest Service give the school the equipment to make the signs and let the students do the work.

“This was all the vision and idea of Anderson,” Popp said. “The RAC approves grants for the Forest Service and it was approved.”

It still took a couple of years in order for the grant to come to fruition and now the equipment has been moved into the school and they are very close to being up and running.

The grant provided PCSD with a brand new table saw, a brand new planer and a Computer Numerical Control, CNC, router.

“This router is a very high tech machine and it is extremely awesome that our students have the opportunity to learn on this,” Popp stated. “This is what the industry uses, if you design something for Boeing they use the CNC router. This is the new industry standard.”

Popp also explained that a student can take the computer Art Cam Express program and design anything and download it into the router, place the piece of wood, aluminum or plastic in place and push a button and the machine will do the work.

“This machine will also accurately design 3-D relief carvings that is very intricate and expensive work,” Popp explained. “The sky is the limit with this piece of equipment.”

He also explained that when the Forest Service needs a sign made, the student can design it, make it and store the design for future use.

“I am really excited to get this machine up and running and come back to give another presentation of the students using it,” Popp said. “This is an amazing grant. The Forest Service brought in some serious money and serious equipment and they put a really big investment into our school.”

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