Do you know what a Spyder Lab is? I didn’t until I toured the one at Brea Canyon High School.
It is known on campus as the Howl Print Works and it is the place where Brea Canyon students are learning marketable graphic-media technology skills on professional-quality Spyder Lab equipment.
The students are learning to create everything from screen-printed shirts and hats to embroidered logos on shirts to wall graphics, vinyl car wraps, 3-D printing, wooden signs and so much more.
They are also learning how to work together and are gaining business skills to eventually run the shop and fulfill job orders from local businesses and the community. Profits from those jobs will go toward scholarships for the students. And they will be ready to work without extra training at an advanced printing company.
Before that can happen, the students must complete their training and be certified. According David Sanchez, the lab’s teacher-supervisor, to be certified on a machine, the student must show their knowledge of safety procedures, of the machine and how to properly use it. The student is video recorded while using the machine.
The Spyder Lab staff, which are certified mentors, determine the student’s certification. If the student passes, they receives a Spyder Lab ID badge with their name and photo on it plus a sticker showing which machine they are certified on.
In addition, the student’s video of using the machine is added to their virtual portfolio and is accessed through a QR code on their Spyder Lab Id card. Pretty cool.
Spyder Lab 3D, has made Brea its headquarters for five years, and creates hands-on workshops for students that combines facets of art, engineering and business for real-job skills for ready employment right out of high school. They also have labs at a couple intermediate schools as well as the La Habra Boys & Girls Club, Santa Ana College and soon at Cal State Fullerton.
The first Spyder Lab was opened at Diamond Bar High School about five years ago.
The lab and equipment installed at Brea Canyon is quite impressive – and looks quite expensive.
According Principal Kristin Risberg, the Spyder Lab and equipment costs $159,000, and was purchased through grants from a K-12 Strong Workforce Grand, a Specialized Secondary Program Grant and $2,000 from the Brea Rotary’s Vocational Fund.
“We spent $14,000 on room upgrades to the room before installation,” Risberg added. And the lab is fully alarmed.
At present, Brea Canyon is the only continuation school in California with a Spyder Lab. And one is also planned for Laurel Elementary Magnet School of Innovation & Career Exploration. That should be interesting.
At present, there are 31 students, including a couple from Brea Olinda High School, in two classes in Brea Canyon’s Spyder Lab. Sanchez noted that several more students want to take the class, but their schedules are full, and they will have to wait until next semester.
Spyder Lab employs some of the certified graduate students from Diamond Bar High School and they are working as mentors for the Brea Canyon students. Perhaps some of Brea Canyon Spyder Lab students will follow the same career path.
Ready to get your club or staff’s shirts or team’s uniforms personalized at Brea Canyon’s Howl Print Works? It won’t be long.
“We are hoping to be fully functional and taking orders by January 2023,” Sanchez said.