UCA's Technology Fair Reaches Full Capacity

Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) in Spangle, Wash., launched its first Technology Fair under the guidance of Chuck Paulson, UCA technology instructor. Registration quickly filled to capacity with nearly 160 students and their sponsors.

Following a general orientation and worship, each visiting student chose two of the following nine workshops:

1. Computer Aided Drafting. Assisted by UCA students, workshop participants used a computer program, AutoCAD 2004, to design a fish and then used a plasma cam (a computer-guided metal cutter) to cut it out.

2. Fluid power. Spokane Community College's John Norman demonstrated how fluid power is used in automation with an actuator device able to move widgets. Participants assembled and tested their own actuators. A video showed how similar automation and fluid power are used in other ways.

3. Welding. Some of the students (especially the girls) were hesitant about welding. “Just try it once,” Paulson told them, “and then if you don’t like it you don’t have to do it anymore.” Well, they tried it and they liked it a lot! They learned about welding careers, how to strike an arc and how to make a welding bead to join metal together.

4. Automotive. Walla Walla College's (WWC) Rob Holm taught how to use a Snap-On engine analyzer and go through flow charts to problem solve on engines and cars. Students watched a running engine to understand combustion theory.

5. Photography. Each student in the photography workshop was able to take pictures, develop the film in the dark room and print their own photographs. This workshop was taught by UCA's advanced photography students.

6. Woodworking. Al Shrock, a professional finish carpenter, helped each student design a clock, use a band saw to shape it from a block of wood, and cut an inset for the clock’s works and face. They also stained and finished the clocks.

7. Desktop Publishing. Linda Nelson and Shane Hinshaw came from WWC to help students put a picture on the computer and print it out as a bookmark. They were introduced to all of the basic skills of desktop publishing.

8. Aviation. Marshal Rub, also from WWC, taught the aviation workshop, covering various aspects of aviation. The students really loved using his flight simulator to manipulate a virtual plane through takeoffs and landings and practice procedural skills.

9. Robotics. Students learned how to program a robot, and then, with a photo eye, they “taught” the robot how to go through a maze. UCA’s Marvin Thorman, who taught the workshop, ended with this concept: “We can program a robot to do so many things that it can almost seem that the robot is thinking and has personality. However, does it? Of course not....But when God created man, He didn’t just program him. He breathed into him the breath of life and gave him the amazing ability to think and to do."

For more photographs from the fair, visit UCA’s Web site at www.ucaa.org. The next UCA Technology Fair is being planned for the fall of 2005.

January 01, 2004 / Upper Columbia Conference