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Williams takes on new media center design

“Just designing buildings and knowing that what came out of my head is going out into the real world, that’s pretty cool." - Jacob Williams, senior


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By Samantha Johnson

Student engineers at BSHS have started to lay out the blueprints for their upcoming  projects. With the start of soldering, senior projects and internships, these students have more than enough on their plate. Veteran engineering teacher Angela Schnakenberg knows that much of the subject matter is new for her students in digital electronics.

“Right now they’re working on soldering, so they’re actually trying to kind of build their own electronic board. For a lot of students, this is the first time they’ve ever soldered anything,” Schnakenberg said. “Their first project is just practice, but then they move on and make a random number generator. They can just push a button and it will randomly generate a number, but that requires kind of a new skill for a lot of them and that’s fun to teach,” she added.

Schnakenberg elaborated on the importance of safety while using the iron in class.

“The irons are about 750 degrees, so I always tell them ladies can relate to this but you know your flat and curling irons are about 400 degrees? Well, this is 750. Don’t see if it burns through the table because it will poke a hole in it, don’t try and touch your partners; it’s scorching hot,” Schnakenberg said.

While it is hard to learn the proper technique and how to handle the tool, Schnakenberg explained that her students in DE find it to be one of the most fun projects of the school year.

“Just learning the technique (is difficult), and it takes a lot of practice because you’ve got this super hot iron and you’re touching it to metal that turns molten. There are some components that are polar, so positives touch positives and negatives touch negatives. However sometimes we don’t follow directions and then we have to learn how to desolder,” Schnakenberg said. “It’s one of the things they always ask me later in the year like, ‘Can we go back to soldering again?’ They really do enjoy doing it,” she added.

Meanwhile, engineering design and development (EDD) students had started outlining their senior projects.

“Everyone has their own ideas and they have to go through the design process, as though they’re making it in real life, and go through all the development stages. The final is having a testable prototype,” senior Jacob Williams said.

At the beginning of this school year, Williams decided to put his heart into architecture.

“I found out pretty quickly that I didn’t want to do (circuitry engineering) and that I wanted to design buildings. So, I told Schnakenberg at the beginning of the year, I was like, ‘Hey, I don’t think this class if for me,’” Williams said.

Williams joked about how his passion was derived from the leading character from the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

“I’ve been enrolled in several engineering classes throughout high school, but I was interested in architecture, honestly, from watching How I Met Your Mother.” Williams said. “I wanted to be like the main character Ted Mosby; who doesn’t want to be like Ted Mosby?”

Schnakenberg helped Williams obtain his goal by contacting an acquaintance who works for Hollis & Miller, the construction company that is designing the new BSHS library.

“I reached out to one of the architects I know at Hollis & Miller and said, ‘Hey, I know we have this whole bond thing going on; is there anyway (Jacob) can work on a design for our new media center as his senior project? You can be kind of a mentor, give him feedback, etc.,’” Schnakenberg said.

Williams has attended several meetings with Mrs. Birdsell and the company to collaborate on design, structure and other aspects of development.

“We’re really trying to narrow down the ideas of what we want the new library to look like and what do we want it to feel like because that’s really important. Do we want a bunch of natural lighting so that people feel open, or stuff like that,” Williams said.

In addition, Williams is leading  the design of charging stations for BSHS’s one-to-one initiative.

“(He’s) working on the one-to-one technology project because where are going to charge to charge all those laptops? I don’t know if there are any plans to add charging stations or not, but he’s been working on what areas of the school could help with that issue and what that would look like,” Schnakenberg said.

Williams looks forward to seeing his designs come to life for years to come.

“Just designing buildings and knowing that what came out of my head is going out into the real world, that’s pretty cool,” Williams said.

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Williams takes on new media center design