Gleason Students Sign Up

Gleason Students Sign Up for Signage
Posted on 12/11/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Gleason Students Sign Up for SignageA sign of the times could very well be that Gleason School is making signs.

Students in the Principles of Agriculture Mechanics course have waited a couple of months to get their hands on the newest tool in Weakley County’s Career and Technical Education offerings. The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) laser uses a method for automating control of machine tools through the use of software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the tool.

With the proper set up of computer to CNC laser and access to both water and the proper voltage, products that could adorn a “farmhouse chic” wall or provide directions to a local business is possible. While a few obstacles had to be overcome – namely installing a new outlet and getting the correct cords for the machinery as well as correcting programming – production has begun.

“I’m thrilled that we now have this $14,000 piece of equipment that will help introduce our students to another potential career path,” said Lindsey Parham, director of the CTE program for Weakley County Schools. “And while they are learning that skill, they will also be able to benefit from the soft skills they develop as they use the signs they produce in annual fundraisers for FFA.”

Parham says she hopes to soon have a means by which each high school in the county can produce a marketable product that can then be used for fundraising.

The process of making a sign involves creating the design, proper programming of the computer to guide in the laser cutting, and adding finishing touches. Gleason’s CTE Ag teacher and FFA advisor Steve Stigall has been learning the process alongside his students. Weakley County Schools technology department were also called in to help overcome some of the initial hurdles.

“With a four-foot-by-four-foot workspace, we have the potential to create a consistent product line,” noted Parham. “And with the students being safely guided in how to produce the signs along with promoting, pricing and placing them before the public, our students will get a glimpse at what small business owners must know to be successful.”

Gleason students with CNC laser
Gleason students surround the new CNC laser that allows for cutting metal signs on a 4 ft. x 4 ft. table all guided by the nearby computer. One of their initial productions was a sign for Career and Technical Education director Lindsey Parham. Seen here are (from left to right) Jake Langley, Antonio Henderson, Olen Reed, C.J. McKnight, Sheldon Perry, and Connor Blassingame.

(Photo above includes CTE director Lindsey Parham and Gleason teacher Steve Stigall showing off the newest productions from the recently installed CNC laser at Gleason School.)