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Classes at Liberty Academy give students skills

By KBell
Feb. 25, 2012 at midnight
Updated Feb. 24, 2012 at 8:25 p.m.

Isaac Partida, Kayla Flores and Jake Flores, all seniors, work on making the perfect screen print on a T-shirt. The students took first, second and third places, relatively, in the SkillsUSA screen printing technology competition.

Screen Printing Technology

In this class, students learn how to create a staple of teenage clothing: printed T-shirts. The process is tedious, students said. In the SkillsUSA competition, for example, judges hovered around the students' every move - from cleaning screens to testing prints to scraping paint on stencils and heating several coats of paint. The hard work pays off, they said, when they see other students wearing the shirts they created.

Photography

The shutter may snap in a split second, but photography students know there's a lot more work that goes into taking a good picture. For the SkillsUSA competition, for example, students had to set up studio lighting, direct a model's poses, create a collage of photos, submit scenes outside the studio and digitally edit all of the above.

3D Imaging and Animation

Imagine trying to convey an entire story with just a quick glimpse of a room. That was the task set forth to students competing in 3D animation at the SkillsUSA competition. Students had to build a single room and guide the audience on a tour of the room in a 30-second animated clip. From there, viewers should be able to tell if the room belonged to one of three characters: an international spy, a future superhero or a mad scientist.

Reading, writing and arithmetic - and 3D animation?

At Victoria school district's Liberty Academy, students can get an education in all of the above and then some.

And turns out, the teenagers' talents sprawl well beyond anything measured on a standardized tests.

In teacher Jeff Vuillemin's classes, for example, VISD students swept the recent District 12 SkillsUSA competition in categories like photography, screen printing and 3D animation.

In some instances, granted, the students didn't have competition from other schools. The programs at Liberty Academy, Vuillemin said, offer VISD students a unique opportunity to learn some of the most advanced software and techniques that will give VISD students an edge at graduation.

"What's neat about these classes is they're using the core subjects - math, science and English," he said. "It's fun, but they're also able to apply their core knowledge to create real-world products."

Here's a glimpse at some of the students' creations.

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