The future leaders in technology could be at Delta Secondary.
Casey Mynott and Duncan Cowen are the specialist technology education instructors at the Ladner high school and they’re helping shape the young minds of today for careers at places like Microsoft, Apple, Tesla or even NASA.
As technology evolves, so do the programs offered at DSS, which give students access to the ultimate environment to create using the latest in computer technology and processes. More than 300 students make up the technology education area at the school.
When the Optimist paid a recent visit to an engineering class, the 50 students were in the process of taking their ideas and doing what’s necessary to turn them into reality.
“That's where technology is today,” said Mynott. “Engineers are multi-faceted in their skill set and these skills are the ones being used not only today, but tomorrow.”
The strides being made in technology programs at DSS definitely revolve around the instructor. Thanks to the hard work, long hours and, in most cases, self-funding from Mynott, the students have computer-controlled machines in every facility – engineering/design, wood and metal.
“I created, without support of the district or the school, an area that links in a meaningful way design, computers, electronics and building not seen in any facility in Delta, ever,” said Mynott. “I personally have spent thousands of hours and personal money to see a program take shape that is awe inspiring, because students absolutely love the ultra-unique, hands-on based learning.”
Mynott said he’s constantly inspired by what the students create.
“It’s so exciting for me to see this, to see the students come up with ideas and then put those ideas together is incredible,” he said. “I’m trying to feed their passion with some really exciting projects.
“I don’t come in after hours because there is no passion. I put in hundreds and hundreds of extra hours because when I come in tomorrow, these students are so fired up and the designs that come out of them are things I haven’t seen before and that’s so cool. It’s the culmination of a passionate instructor and passionate kids all coming together and great things are happening.”
Major projects students are working on include a fully 3D printed raspberry pi powered arcade machine with custom electronics and programming, drones, vectorized vinyl graphics and VEX Robotics.
Some students are also working on higher level project proposals. Currently one group is creating a fully customized 3D printed Bluetooth-controlled vehicle and the other is converting a gasoline motorcycle to electric power.
Grade 12 student Connor Jones was working on a drone when the Optimist stopped by.
“I like building and making stuff and that’s what this class is all about,” said Jones. “I never thought I could do this. It’s very interesting. I’m looking at a career in engineering so this is great for that.”
Fellow Grade 12 student Oliver Brubacher also enthusiastically jumped into this class.
“I was intrigued to get the actual applied aspect of engineering compared to just drafting and theory,” he said. “It’s awesome to be building drones. I have drones at home and fly them. It’s so much fun and really cool to be able to go to school and build one.”