Screen Printing Arrives at CTEi Vocational Shop is “Changing with Technology”

News | Apr 4, 2013

LEOMINSTER….Graphic Communications instructor Scott J. Hebert is busier than usual these days. He recently attended training on the latest addition to the Graphic Communications shop at the Center for Technical Education Innovation (CTEi) at Leominster High School, a screen printing system manufactured by industry leader Printa Systems of Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.

Specifically the new equipment, which was purchased through a Perkins Grant of $15,000, consists of a 4 station, 4 color screen printer, a flash cure unit to dry materials being printed, and an exposure unit to burn images onto material.

“These machines represent new potential on many levels. We, as a vocational shop are changing with new technologies that are very much a part of graphic communications today” said Hebert. “Screen printing was just added to the Curriculum Standards issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for our shop” Hebert added. Previously, the Graphic Communications shop did not have the capability to print on anything but paper products but with the new machinery t-shirts, jackets, hats and lunch bags can be printed.

In explaining the process students will be learning, Hebert explained that safety is a key concern with the new machines as it is with existing presses, collaters, binders and cutters. “The machines are fully digital, students will first design t-shirts for example on computers and then actually print them” Hebert said. “Beyond the physical aspects of screen printing, students will ‘learn by doing’ as John Dewey said” noted Hebert quoting the “father of American vocational education, 20th century philosopher John Dewey. “Students will learn skills associated with a screen printing business including how to quote a job, filling out purchase orders, invoices - practically integrating math skills, managing inventory and managing stock” said Hebert.

Hebert described the recent training that he received at the equipment manufacturer’s corporate headquarters as being “first-rate.” Over the course of three days Hebert learned how to use the equipment for maximum benefit of the students. Initially, he has started converting the PC based program to the Apple platform CTEi Graphic Communications uses. Next, he learned how to work the machines including heat transfer of images and logos as well as screen printing itself. Hebert says that by April his students should be using the screen printer as it is incorporated into the vocational education curriculum.

Scott Hebert has 25 years experience in the printing and graphic communications industry, most recently with American Printing and Envelope of Auburn. He has been an instructor at CTEi since 2007.

The Center for Technical Education innovation (CTEi) is a Chapter 74 Vocational School established in 1964 and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges serving students from Leominster.