Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Colfax Students Develop Electric Amplifier that Works with MP3 players


Rocklin, CA- Modeling the innovation and design process, Colfax High School teachers, with support from the Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Collaborative, developed curriculum for making an electric amplifier that works with MP3 players.

The project has proven to be a full-scale success with freshmen. Students will demonstrate the results at an Amp-Up Expo on Wednesday, June 5 at 10:15 a.m. at Colfax High School.

The Colfax instructors sought a way for students to complete units in design, electronics, metal, wood and media that culminated in an appealing, memorable and useful project. The goal was to instill 21st Century Skills, promote Career Technical Education (CTE), and introduce STEM careers. Sierra College faculty provided advice and the Sierra STEM Collaborative supplied a vacuum former, plasma cutter and other new technology, as well as supported teachers' externships and professional development.

According to Christian Kinsey, Tech Essentials,  teacher, Colfax students used to make race cars when the introductory technology class was an elective. Once Tech Essentials became required for all freshmen, instructors invented a more universally appealing hands-on project. The new curriculum introduced students to tools in the tech labs, reinforced applied academics and taught problem solving. In addition, the project allowed student customization, encouraged career exploration and appealed to male and female students. 

"Although it was hard to let go of the car project and develop new curriculum, it was a fun process for the four teachers working together," said Kinsey. "We brainstormed to find a project that would inspire students, could be built in the semester, was cost-effective and included elements from all the CTE courses. Most importantly, we wanted to encourage innovation and teach critical thinking skills." 

Students learn software and online tools to manage their projects, develop design skills, and produce documentation such as a parts list and bill of materials. They learn to use 3D drafting to design the sound tube, make a wood mold for vacuum forming the speaker caps out of plastic, solder circuit boards for the sound tubes and fabricate stands out of metal.

With a team, the students design a logo, use the computer numerical control (CNC) machine tool to cut vinyl images for branding, research related STEM education and career paths, develop presentations and demonstrate their electric amplifiers at an "Amp Up Expo." Community representatives give feedback on the final projects at the Expo. Students save the project documentation and support materials in online portfolios that can be shown to prospective employers.

"Every generation has a desire to listen to music," said Kinsey. "Sierra College STEM provided the support to take that idea and develop a fully integrated design technology course that starts high school students off with a powerful experience in design, fabrication and product development." 

The Colfax teachers have linked real world product development with rigorous academics to excite students about the opportunities in design, engineering and manufacturing, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), Sierra College.

"The goal of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative is to support teacher innovation," said Pepper-Kittredge. "At Colfax High School, the teachers have instilled creativity into an academically challenging project that builds technical skills, and teaches communication and teamwork required by employers."

After Pepper-Kittredge reviewed the students' projects, she said, "Students were so proud of what they had created. These students are our nations' future entrepreneurs and innovators." 

About Sierra College STEM Collaborative

The Sierra STEM Collaborative is funded by California Community College Chancellor's Office, to create a pipeline of students interested in technical careers. Students can pursue Welding, Mechatronics, Engineering, Energy Technology and Drafting & Engineering Support at Sierra College. For information, go to or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College at (916) 660-7801.

Placer County News Headlines

Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less

Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services

Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?

Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.

Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.

Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget

Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.

Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects

Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium

Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park

Loretta Claiborne Ran to SuccessRoseville, CA - You may have seen the Disney made-for-TV movie The Loretta Claiborne Story, in which a partially blind, African-American woman with an intellectual disability

NEWS: In Case You Missed It