ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - For some schools, new and improved technology is a given. However, others have to do the fundraising work themselves to get the state of the art products.
In the agriculture department at Oak Hill High School in Elmer, everything is all about being hands-on.
"It brings in the science, the technology the engineering aspects into a real world setting,” said Jeremy Parker, who teaches agriculture at the school.
When Parker was researching different products to bring into his department, he found out about "Inventables." a nationwide company whose C.E.O., Zachary Kaplan, said he hopes to bring a 3D carver into every school in the nation within the next ten years.
"We recognize that not all schools have budget for new technology, so we want to make it as easy for the kids to get their hands on as possible,” said Kaplan. Inventables began helping create crowdfunding campaign for those schools, like Oak Hill, who cannot afford the machines on their own.
So, Parker originally spent his own money to buy an "X-Carve" from Inventables. It takes a design from a computer to a piece of wood. "That was my gift to the program,” said Parker.
However, Parker wasn’t satisfied. He decided to reach out to Inventables again to get a newer, better version, and one that would be funded solely by donations.
"It’s something they could do everything from marketing to concepts to design to the construction,” said Parker. “We can actually have students in the classroom designing something on the Inventables website, and we can carve it out while they're in the classroom."
The next machine, a CNC router, is closed-in and quieter.
"It gives me different ways to use computers in the future for maybe a job,” said Cody Silas, an Oak Hill student and FFA member.
“It will help me be more imaginative and come up with more designs that people like,” said Cheyanne Crane, Oak Hill’s FFA President.
The Oak Hill FFA members are now taking donations on their website to get to their goal of nearly $3,000.
But, instead of just taking people's money, they are giving donors something back: an item they've created from start to finish.
"Everything that you put into us, we put out into the community,” said Silas.
If you donate $20 to the campaign, the group will make you a 12 x 12 customized carved wooden sign (with a fleur de lis). Parker said if you donate $50 or more, they will make whatever you want in appreciation for your support.
To donate, check out the links to the right side of this page in the “Related Links” column, or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.inventables.com/fundraisers/oak-hill-high-school