By Charlotte Underwood 

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County High School’s Technology and Engineering program has received a $5,000 grant to purchase a Computer Numerical Control machine, which students will then use to participate in a project with Lincoln Memorial University (LMU).

Each year the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network partners with the Tennessee Valley Authority to award grants to schools with projects.

Campbell County High School Technology & Engineering teacher Chris Monaghan applied for the Batelle Education TSIN/STEMx STEM classroom grant after he and his classes were invited to participate in a project at LMU.

CCHS Technology and Engineering teacher Chris Monaghan recently applied and received a $5,000 STEM grant which will be used to purchase a machine similar to this one, but that is designed to cut wood or plastics.

The grant funds will purchase a Computer Numerical Control Machine that is specially designed to “cut wood, plastic or Styrofoam.” The high school already owns a CNC machine designed to cut away metal and create items, but using that machine to cut wood or plastics could damage it.

The project that CCHS will be working with LMU on requires the need of a machine that could cut wood away to create an item, such as an exact replica of President Abraham Lincoln’s cane.

“The Dean of Engineering at LMU reached out to me and wanted to know if we would be interested in participating in a project that LMU was doing. It’s called Art Belongs to Everyone (ABE) as in Abe Lincoln and Lincoln Memorial University,” Monaghan explained. 

The ABE project LMU has asked CCHS to participate in involves re-creating exact replicas of some of LMU’s museum and library items such as Lincoln’s wooden cane. 

The Library and Museum at LMU has lots of exhibits, but everything is protected behind glass and you can’t touch anything. That’s what the ABE project will remedy by having paintings, statues and artifacts re-created into exact replicas that can be touched in order to assist low vision visitors, ultimately creating a more hands on experience for their visitors “that see through touch.”

Monaghan’s Technology and Engineering students will 3-D scan Abraham Lincoln’s wooden cane and then, using the machine that was purchased through the grant, they will create the replica of it and other items from the museum. 

According to Monaghan, the machine can create a replica of it down to a 10th of a millimeter and “essentially create a copy of the original.”

The project will also involve 3-D printing of paintings.

Campbell County High School Principal Ben Foust said the project was “a great opportunity for the students.”

“So we can print a painting in layers, so there will be depth to it and those visually impaired can feel it,” Monaghan said.

The Technology and Engineering students will start the project in February, and it has to be finished by June.

“The curator of the museum will meet with us, tell us their needs, and we will select several items to reproduce,” Monaghan said.

All three of his classes will be involved in different aspects of the process from beginning to end.

“The students will help with the project and get to go through a complete design cycle, asking questions, participating and working with a real client,” Monaghan said.

This kind of hands on Engineering project “ties in locally” as the Tennessee College of Applied Technology offers a program that teaches and enhances these skills.

“This is getting our students ready and familiar with the equipment available to go through that program,” Monaghan said.

Campbell County High School Principal Ben Foust said the project was “a great opportunity for the students.”

“This will be great for the students, and we’re super excited to have Mr. Monaghan on board. The way he takes initiative with grants like this will provide students with access to new opportunities and help them develop the skills they need for the future,” Foust said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/11/2023-6AM)