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How do vocational school students get hands-on education during COVID-19? – News – telegram.com

UPTON – Connor McNamara, 17, watched the towering piece of equipment he programmed to make a chessboard Tuesday morning, as it whirred, drilled, and cast piles of white shavings onto the floor.

The day was one of about four per month when McNamara and his classmates have on-site classes at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, under coronavirus safety precautions.

“Despite remote learning, I am on track,” the advanced manufacturing and fabrication student said, noting that a lot of his study, like learning coding, doesn’t require him to practice on the machine regularly. “All of our textbooks were previously online to begin with.”

A room over, in a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration shop class, 17-year-old Nick Loschiavo didn’t feel the same optimism.

“It’s not enough, but it’s better than nothing,” said Loschiavo, troubleshooting a faulty heat pump on one of his few days in school Tuesday. “I

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