Thanks to the voter-approved technology capital levy in 2020, a number of new district vehicles have been rolling across our Bellingham streets, adding efficiencies and sustainability to our fleet of cars, vans and trucks. But it is thanks to a group of Options and Bellingham High School students that these vehicles have received the branding of Bellingham Public Schools. In fact, the decal project was such a success for the newer vehicles that updated decals are now being replaced on all the older models as well.
In spring 2021, Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers Jared Greenwood of Options High and Paul Clement of Bellingham High were approached by director of CTE Jeff Tetrick and director of Transportation Rae Anne Thon, who needed help adding the district decal to the new fleet of vehicles. With in-person instruction having returned at the high school level, Greenwood and Clement and their students were ready to assist with this project.
Using cutting-edge classroom equipment, these advanced students in engineering tech, applied technology and aerospace learned how to develop and create the permanent decals. Using Rhino V6, a computer-aided design (CAD) program and a vinyl cutter machine, the decals were then transferred to a sticker layup. The application (layup) of the decal to the vehicle is completed by staff in transportation.
The decal branding project has now expanded to all vehicles (nearly 80 in all) owned by Bellingham Public Schools, giving the students even more opportunity to apply their technical skills and assuring that the district has a uniformly branded fleet.
“Students rise to the occasion to come together on a community/district project like this,” said Greenwood. “They take ownership in these projects since they know their work will be seen around the community and last a lifetime, or at least a really long time.”
Tetrick adds to this sentiment about students reaching outside the classroom environment and seeing the impact of their learning. “This is a great example of how students can showcase their advanced skills learned in CTE classes,” he said, “and can apply them to a real project for our district.”