Architecture, engineering opportunities may expand at Kaneland High School

By on December 3, 2011

by Eddie Rodriguez
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Interested in architecture? Kaneland might soon add a third option for students who want to study architecture or engineering.

Under the eight-period day next year, an independent study in drafting may be offered, Computer Aided Drafting teacher Norm Welker said.

“CAD is necessary for students going to universities,” he said. “Because schools don’t teach CAD, we want our students to know it. By expanding the program, we will be preparing our students for (college classes).”

AutoCad, the computer program used in class, is used in design, architecture and engineering jobs. Whether designing buildings, structures, engineering-related pieces or even three-dimensional structures, CAD makes the task both quick and easy.

Kaneland already offers two CAD courses: CAD I and CAD II, which are taught by Norm Welker. Both classes are a term long, which makes it difficult for students hoping to major in this field to study it in depth during high school. That’s why there’s been talk about possibly expanding the program and opening a free study class, which will allow students to work on design skills and learn more about the program itself.

“It’s easy to catch on to, and it can accomplish more than people know by simple commands like a line,” said junior Ryan Lawrence, a CAD I student.

Lawrence wants to become an engineer, and he said that being able to use shortcuts on the keyboard and the mouse make the program that much easier.

“It’s very versatile. It takes a lot of small steps to learn, but once you know the basics, it becomes easy,” said junior Graham Jefferson, who is also enrolled in CAD I. “It will be cool to see what they can make.”

Graham wants to go into graphic design and finds this class beneficial because not all colleges offer it.

Welker said the thrill of watching the overall growth of the students is his favorite part of teaching this class.

“The prospects from the students themselves, knowing they could get a job and that there are so many opportunities, is exciting,” he said. “You have to work with it all the time to excel with it.”

Since Autodesk, the company that created CAD, releases a new version of AutoCAD each year, the program is always changing and adding new features.

“I would like to see an architectural program and an electrical program in the near future,” Welker said.