Jacob Reynolds, WMAZ 7:07 PM. EDT September 28, 2017

Houston County leaders have said in the past they want to foster an interest in young people to work and stay in the County.

The Houston County Career Academy is in the third year of a program they say gives students hands-on practice of real world skills.

Jacob Reynolds went to see a preview of the program before students start using it next week.

It requires skill, attention to detail, and safety goggles.

While the school was busy with touring middle schoolers, they gave us a sneak peak of what students will start using next week as part of the academy’s electronics course.

They’ll have a chance to make their own electronics this semester and sell them, using soldering equipment. The money from the sales will be used to fund the program in the future. The sale will be in December.

Suleman Ahmed, a Houston County High School junior, says the program is hands-on.

“You learn new technical skills, new things that you can actually apply in the real world. Soldering and the PCBs or printed circuit boards, are things you use out there, such as at Robins Air Force Base,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed says this is his second year taking classes at the Academy. He wants to go to Georgia Tech and become a computer hardware specialist or aerospace engineer and says getting to use tools is better than a textbook.

“It’s more hands on, you learn more. It’s not the note-talking, sitting down, type of class you would normally take. You actually learn about the different material, different things used and apply those same principles hands on while still learning about everything,” Ahmed said in his classroom.

This is the third semester of the three-step electronics program. Each class lasts a semester.

Will Smith Jr. is in his tenth year of teaching and has been getting students to solder at the Academy since 2014.

He says it’s all about giving them a leg up after high school.

“It prepares them to either go to Central Georgia Tech at the next level and then potentially get a job on Robins Air Force Base. Or, they can take the electronics course, get exposed, and go to an engineering school in Georgia and so forth. Gain confidence, and pretty much they’re a step ahead of a first year college student,” Smith said.

This will be this particular group of student’s third time using the soldering equipment as part of the electronics curriculum.

Smith says the course is an important introduction because digital electronics are taking over all over tech, including in things like your cellphones and tablets.

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