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Students create light show

LaFAYETTE — COVID-19 precautions have prevented Inspire Academy students from taking part in Christmas-related activities like they have in recent years. In past years, students made a big splash in the Valleywide Christmas Parade and have had a Christmas festival at the school.

The parade gave them a chance to show what they can do with electric-powered vehicles. They typically have a parade float with the front end resembling a diesel-electric locomotive. The festival helps teach construction techniques and electrical skills in a real-world setting, and the students design and build everything.

This year that isn’t possible due to COVID-19, but instructor Joshua Bryan found another way they could have fun and accomplish their instructional goals. The students have designed and built a Christmas light show on the front of Inspire Academy’s main administrative building.

“I wanted to make sure my students still had an opportunity to learn and to demonstrate the mastery of those same skills,” Bryan said. “Our agriscience students were able to do that with the Christmas lights show we have on the front of our building.”

As part of the show, music plays in coordination with flashing, multi-colored lights. It takes effort, ingenuity and students working well together to come up with something like it.

The hope is that since students can’t go to the parade, that locals will line up to come see what they’ve put together.

The career tech program is one of the fastest-growing curriculums within the Chambers County School District. Students from all over Chambers County are bused to Inspire Academy every day from their middle schools or high schools in Valley, Lanett and LaFayette. Some students with specialized skills can start off drawing salaries in the $60,000 to $80,000 a year range.