New Beginnings: CTE product design elective revamped to offer students new form of learning


Photo courtesy of Alexa Min

Mr. Sligh flashing two thumbs up for the machinery used in the CTE product design elective.

After teaching the CTE: Product Design and Development elective for 4 years, Jefferson Clark experienced increased demand in his other electives, yearbook, and digital media arts, rendering him unable to continue teaching the CTE elective.

With this, a new beginning arrived.

Brandon Sligh took over the elective and now presents a new teaching style. The CTE elective is sure to lead an exciting year ahead after undergoing changes as Sligh takes strides to improve the class as a whole.

Since Sligh had originally helped set up the elective, he was more than willing to step up to the challenge.

SpongeBob inspired project. (Courtesy of Alexa Min)

“When I was first told about the elective, I lept at the opportunity,” Sligh said.

Sligh has been teaching for 7 years, 5 of those as a history teacher. He decided to take on the elective as a means to help students develop skills applicable outside of school.

For those unaware, CTE product design focuses on the development of products using software. Sligh creates projects so his students are able to build upon their skills.

“The course is very hands-on and good for driven and creative students,” Sligh said.

Haunted house model. (Courtesy of Alexa Min)

So far, they have built sculptures of various buildings, like SpongeBob’s pineapple and a haunted house. One of their most recent projects was creating board games with rules and pieces.

“I love seeing how creative students can be and the different perspectives for each project,” Sligh said.

The class is also a great way to learn important life principles.

“Some skills we learn are communication, teamwork, time management, responsibility, and leadership,” he said.


Guidance and support are always offered, but the elective is very self-reliant and success thrives on self-sufficiency.

Boardgame created in the class. (Courtesy of Alexa Min)

Aside from activities within the class, CTE Product and Design is working on projects for the school community like ‘talon tokens’ which students will be able to earn and redeem for prizes.

They have also recently begun taking requests from teachers and students, for t-shirt stencils, classroom signs, stickers, etc.

The course encourages creativity and acts as a fun elective where students can learn versatile skills.

Sligh hopes to continue teaching the elective as long as possible and has purchased more equipment to make the class even better.

“We are trying to get some new machines soon like printers and a fiber laser for metal etching,” Sligh said.

As the year progresses, Sligh will continue to make improvements to the course, so if you are interested in building, making, or innovating, this course can offer a broad spectrum of creativity and useful skills for you.