December 4, 2015 5:39 pm
Updated: December 7, 2015 7:17 am

Saskatoon high school program blends music with virtual design

WATCH ABOVE: A unique music program that includes building their own guitars is hitting a high note with students at Oskayak High School. Joel Senick explains.

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SASKATOON – A group of Saskatoon-based students regularly find themselves dragging cursors across computer screens in an effort to turn two-dimensional designs into three-dimensional models. They’re tasked with creating a virtual instrument that can be played in the physical world.

“Possibilities are like endless with what I could create,” said JoHannah Angus, a Grade 12 student in the program.

“I see people making such cool things.”

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READ MORE: University of Saskatchewan students get hands-on learning opportunity

Angus and 19 other of her classmates at Oskayak High School are all participating in a unique class that hopes to bring a number of guitars to life. Students create the instruments using specialized software and then send the designs to a computer controlled cutting machine which molds items out of wood.

“I love building it and getting to learn a new talent and stuff like that with computer software,” said Maggie Eastman, a Grade 12 student in the class.

“It’s really interesting and something that I want to get to know more about.”

The program was developed by teacher Marc Gobeil and is in its first year at the school. At the completion of the course, students will be allowed to take their created guitars with them.

“Students will come in, like up to an hour early before class and stay after class and just work solid,” said Gobeil.

“Our students right now in Grade 10, 11, 12, can design models in 3D which I think in the world of today, being able to be technically literate is huge,” he added.

Gobeil said he hoped to give his students “a reason to come to school” by coming up with the interactive class. Administrators set aside $10,000 for the class, according to Gobeil, most of which went towards the cutting machine.

“I really love, no matter what the class is, to physically take something home,” said Gobeil.

“It’s something, whenever you look at it, even if it’s in your room, you see it once in awhile, it will always remind you of that time,” he added.

Angus, 19, said she plans to get a lot of use out of her guitar once the course is finished.

“Definitely going to take some lessons and I am going to show my family,” said Angus.

“They’re going to be so proud of me … it’s just like such a cool opportunity.”

© 2015 Shaw Media

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