North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Rep. Larsen tours Lakewood High School


Christopher Andersson

Lakewood School District Superintendent Michael Mack, left, talks with U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen at the new Lakewood High School on March 27.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen stopped by the new Lakewood High School on March 27 to tour many of the STEM and CTE classes that are new or have been improved by the new campus.

Larsen represents Washington's 2nd Congressional District, which stretches from north Everett to Bellingham and the nearby Puget Sound islands.

The new Lakewood High School opened last September. It has allowed a number of opportunities for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and CTE (career and technical education) classes that the district didn't have before.

The high school's Robotics team, which competes with other schools to build robots designed for specific tasks, now has a room dedicated for them.

"Originally, this was started jointly with the Neobots in Arlington," said Lakewood School District Superintendent Michael Mack. "We didn't have any funding for it so we just sent out kids over there."

However, after receiving a Boeing grant the district was able to start their own program about six years ago.

The team is still relatively new compared to other teams from around the Puget Sound but placed well last year.

"The teams that have been in existence longer than we have, they have multiple robots to practice," said Dale Leach, director of facilities at the district.

The district's shop class now has a number of new items.

"We're a multi-faceted area here," said Tom O'Hara, shop teacher at the school.

In addition to some of the traditional shop tools like lathes, they now have 3D printers, as well, that they use to create a variety of items.

Just next door to the shop is a computer lab classroom.

"We've never had a computer lab right on top of our shop before," said Leach. "We'll have kids who will do their CNC [the automation of machine tools using computer programs] here and they just have to go next door to see the product."

Lakewood High School's video production class also received a classroom specifically built for filming video, which they lacked before.

"We were dabbling in video production before," said Leach, "and we had it in a backroom where we painted the wall, and had minimal cameras."

The new classroom includes a green screen room with lighting and modern video cameras.

The main product of the class is the school newscast.

Through that process students get to "know script-writing, storyboard, and then the actual filming and editing of the film," said Mack.

"And that will be a portfolio when they leave if they have a interest in this," he said.

The school district hopes to give CTE credit in the future for classes like video production, photography and digital design, but the credit requires the teacher have an additional certification.

A new cooking and life skills class was also added as an option for students as part of the new high school.

"This is a new space with a brand new class for us," said Leach.

"It's not just about cooking, but budgeting and learning about interest rates and credit card debts," he said.

Right now the school only runs a couple of classes for the program.

"With 724 students at the high school, we don't have enough kids for any program to be all day," said Mack.

"Especially with the way the state has gone with science requirements and course loads," he said.


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