Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

November 4, 2013

Bell, Aledo ISD partnership takes off

District to launch STEM degree track

BY JUDY SHERIDAN

Bell Helicopter went big announcing the company’s new partnership with Aledo ISD last Tuesday morning, noisily maneuvering a helicopter onto the football practice field as a throng of excited students and faculty stood by.

All eyes were fixed on the flat gray sky as the helicopter appeared on the horizon and hovered to a landing, rotors spinning and dust flying. Among those getting out were Superintendent Dr. Derek Citty and Franklin “Tom” Knight, Bell’s technical training manager, who shook hands.

The collaboration between the globally-recognized aerospace company and Aledo ISD — as well as with Dunbar, Eagle Mountain — Saginaw ISD and several others, according to Knight — is an effort to groom tomorrow’s work force.

“Bell is reaching out because we know you will be our future,” he told students who later surrounded him, peppering him with questions. “We don’t want to go to the east and west coasts to get laborers.”

Knight said the company would like to interject manufacturing skills into the secondary school curriculum, as well as build apprenticeship programs with Weatherford College and others.

That type of training, he said, will allow a student to “go get a job at any of our aviation facilities.”

The new coursework will target advanced math with practical applications, Knight told students, leading to a choice of three different tracks in the student’s junior year — engineering, advanced composites or CNC machining.

He did not name a figure when asked what the company planned to invest, but spoke of donating a machine to Tarrant County College and developing and installing software at Aledo High School.   

“We’re reaching out to manufacturing companies and asking them to invest with us,” he said.

Vernon Anderson, a Bell employee and a member of the new Aledo ISD Education Foundation Board, worked with Knight on the initiative.

Anderson approached the school board with the idea in July, Citty said, and will now chair a Bell committee to get the program up and running in Aledo,

Anderson discussed how the district could access company resources through the partnership at the October board meeting.

He said Bell would equip students to participate in the Real World Design Challenge, a national competition that invites student teams to solve a real-world aeronautics problem.

“Those software programs are worth millions of dollars that I use, and we’re willing to give them to the school district for free to join this RWDC,” he told trustees.

 Knight said Bell’s efforts coincide with — but are not coordinated with — House Bill 5, passed by the Texas Legislature in June, with implementation in 2014.

The bill expands graduation requirement options, allowing students to add classes that lead to technical careers instead of college.

Districts can also create “rigorous” courses — with the help of industries and community colleges — that both count toward graduation and help build a skilled workforce.

The bill will allow Aledo ISD to use Bell’s training curriculum to create a specific STEM — science, technology, engineering and math/manufacturing — degree track on the AHS main campus.

Executive Director of Curriculum Kathy Allen said the first new course the district will offer will be Concepts of Engineering, followed by Engineering Design and Presentation the second year, with the added benefit that the courses serve as prerequisites for robotics programs at Weatherford College.

Citty, impressed by a recent tour of Bell, said he appreciated Anderson’s input, calling him a “zealot for his company with a vision for our kids.”

“The Aledo ISD recognizes the importance of college-readiness and workforce development programs for our students including advanced learning in science, technology, engineering and math,” Citty said.

“Working with Bell Helicopter will elevate the students of Aledo ISD and offer them real-life experiences that are not offered in many districts across the country.”

1
Text Only
Aledo ExtrA
  • CPS data.jpg Case overload

    Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richard Adams Sr. Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges

    A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period. 

    Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Developer withdraws site plan

    ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aledo City Council to meet July 24

    The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.

    July 22, 2014

  • oak leaf ladder shot.jpg Fires damage business, home

    Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear Editor,
     Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 22, 2014

  • ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site

    Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.

    July 22, 2014

  • Registration has begun for Aledo ISD

    Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.

    July 22, 2014

  • County scrambling to fill elections post

    Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.

    July 22, 2014

  • Willow Park tackles 11-street project

    The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.

    July 22, 2014

Must Read
House Ads
Top News
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast