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Caz Tech Department holds open house

For students that wish to pursue a career in the technological field, they are given opportunities to implement their ideas senior year. For their senior engineering project, Kyle Kattrein, Bill Newmiller, Ben Spangler and Patrick Nunez have designed, constructed and programmed an Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle. The robot's PVC-pipe frame is configured with propellers and cameras, temperature gauges and even a pH sensor. The students developed the machine in order to easily monitor the levels of the invasive species Eurasian Watermilfoil in Cazenovia Lake by diving down 40 feet below the surface and digitally recording their findings.

The technology department is comprised of just five teachers that offer over 15 courses yearly. Between them, they have over 50 years of experience. Thuc Phan, Jason Hyatt, Jason Webb, Rob Axelson and Chris Hurd instruct upwards of 350 of students. Each teacher gave a brief synopsis of their role at Cazenovia during the open house as the area tech teachers toured the school. Listening to each instructor, it was apparent they share a strong enthusiasm for the material with their students, and strive to keep the less-interested pupils engaged.

Of last year's graduating class, 54 percent of students went on to pursue careers and studies in science, technology, engineering and math. 27 percent of those students were specifically interested in technology and engineering. As the Cazenovia Technology Department's reputation continues to grow, so does its size.

Numerous classrooms are packed full of computers, robots, editing software and other specialized equipment. What's remarkable about this fact is that students facilitate funding during difficult economic times. Thousands of dollars have been raised in past years by students and alumni of the tech department.

Being a comprehensive program, there are a multitude of websites to explore, offering information on each teacher and the courses they conduct. In addition to the Cazenovia Central School District website caz.cnyric.org (which Phan maintains), those looking for more information on the programs can access cazhigh.com/cte. To learn more about the New York Electrathon, which was started at Cazenovia; visit nyelectrathon.com. Finally, for all Computer Integrated Manufacturing questions and curiosities, investigate Hurd's YouTube channel, ChrisHurdCIM.

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