Please let me take a moment to introduce myself and the Precision Machining program at Pike Central High School. My name is Mark Scott and I am a full-time instructor for Vincennes University. In the summer of 2010, I was given the opportunity to coordinate with PCHS personnel to implement and teach the courses at Pike Central High School.

Perhaps you have seen recent stories on the CBS Evening News, Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, and articles in the Wall Street Journal addressing the critical shortage of skilled technicians in most industries. Our P.M. program was implemented in the Fall of 2010 to meet the needs of local and regional industries and to give our graduates additional employment opportunities. This program prepares students for successful entry into the work force or into the Vincennes University programs of Advanced Manufacturing, Tool and Die, or Plastic Injection Mold Tooling.

The courses at PCHS are actual VU courses, so students earn both high school and college credits of up to 15 hours at NO EXPENSE. Normally this would cost over $170 per credit hour, which would save students over $2500 if enrolled in the two-year program on campus. Essentially, their core classes for the first semester are completed before they even arrive on campus.

Classes at PCHS meet in a three-hour block in a state-of-the-art facility utilizing both manual and CNC machining equipment.

Skilled technicians who are seeking employment in manufacturing have nearly a 100% placement rate. Employment opportunities exist locally, regionally, statewide and even across the United States. Some examples of this include automotive, aerospace, plastics, orthopedic/ health care/ life sciences, stamping, energy, and motorsports.

Those who graduate start out earning $35,000 to $40,000 annually and can quickly increase that to $50,000 to $75,000+ as they gain experience. The program offered at Pike Central gives students a head start into dynamic jobs.

Anyone interested in the Precision Machining program at PCHS and would like more information may Email me at

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Students take first, second, and fifth places at SkillsUSA Region 4

Caleb Miller, a senior in Pike Central High School’s Precision Machining class, finished first at the SkillsUSA Region 4 Precision Machining Competition at Vincennes University on February 11, 2017.  Miller won a $2500 scholarship to VU.  

Nathan Wehr placed second and Zach Pancake placed fifth in the contest, receiving a $1000 scholarship to VU and a $500 scholarship, respectively.

The contest was held in the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) CNC machining lab at Vincennes University which hosted the regional SkillsUSA machining competition for high school students enrolled in machining programs in Southern Indiana.

The SkillsUSA Championships is the platform for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally then continue through the state and national levels. More than 350 high school students and guests from southeastern and southwestern Indiana competed. The three students will advance to the State level contest held on April 22, 2017, at Indianapolis.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Busy 2016-17 First Semester

            The Precision Machining classes at Pike Central High School have been very busy.
            On September 16, the classes accompanied a group of students in the Haas Technical Education Center at Vincennes University to the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) at the McCormick Place in Chicago. This is the largest manufacturing show in North America and is only held every other year. While there wasn’t enough time to visit nearly all the several thousand vendors, the students saw a good number who demonstrated their products that are used in manufacturing and came away with a greater appreciation of the latest high tech machine tools and products.
            A new competition that the Precision Machining program intends to compete in this year requires teams of students to design and build a single-seat electric car and then compete in Greenpower USA’s race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in conjunction with IndyCar and the GreenpowerUSA Foundation, is inviting teams of 33 high school students to design, build and race a single-seat, student-driven electric car on the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2017 race festivities. The high school teams, selected from participating programs across the United States, will be paired with Verizon IndyCar Series drivers for the famed 500 Mile Race in a competition that promotes STEM.
            The Pike Central program has attained partnerships/sponsorships with area businesses, including, at this time, Jasper Engines, Kimball Electronics, and IPL, to enable them to purchase the chassis kit from Greenpower UK. Students will have the opportunity to work with engineers and technicians from the sponsoring companies to assemble and modify the car, and prepare for the race.
            The annual Precision Machining Open House for interested students and parents was held November 30. This gave prospective students and their parents an inside look at the program and facilities.  
            Another activity was a tour of Jasper Engines on November 3. Pike Central Precision Machining students have interned at the company over the past three years and Jasper Engines has assisted students with their college expenses by purchasing required tools for the VU program.
            Also, on November 16, the classes toured the VU School of Technology programs, including Precision Machining, Welding, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Advanced Manufacturing. This gives the students the opportunity to see and hear about career choices post high school.
            Those who graduate from the VU programs start out earning $35,000 to $40,000 annually and can quickly increase that to $50,000 to $75,000+ as they gain experience.
            Precision Machining, which is in its seventh year at PCHS, prepares students for successful entry into the workforce or into the Vincennes University programs of Precision Machining and Advanced CNC Machining. The courses at PC are actual VU classes, so students can earn both high school credits and college credits of up to 12 hours at no expense. Essentially, classes of the first semester within the major are completed before students even arrive on campus.

            Any student interested in the Precision Machining program at PCHS should contact Mr. Scott in Room K-140, Email him at, or talk to a guidance counselor. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

PM Teams Earn 1st and 2nd in Two Challenges at STEM Competition

Pike Central High School’s Precision Machining Team A won first place in the Kimball Electronics Jasper challenge and second in another challenge presented by Meade-Johnson at the third annual STEM Challenge for regional high school students. The competition was held at Oakland City University on April 8, 2016.

The team, consisting of seniors Madelyne and Nick from Pike Central, and Logan and Noah from Jasper High School, took first place in the business challenge presented by Kimball Electronics Jasper and a second place in another challenge presented by Meade-Johnson.

Other challenges throughout the event were created by Toyota, Farbest Foods, University of Evansville, ATTC, Matrix, and USI/OCU. Prizes were awarded for each business challenge and the top three overall winners from 19 teams throughout the tri-state. 

The competition is designed to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and math.  It is also geared to assist students in understanding the importance of teamwork and communication in the workplace. These skills are vital to regional economy.  Eight regional companies designed activities to provide real-world business challenges that encompass the skills needed in the work environment.

First place winners and Kimball Electronics Jasper staff representatives of the third annual STEM Challenge

PCHS Student Takes First Place at 2016 SkillsUSA State Contest

Noah, from Jasper and a senior in Pike Central High School’s Precision Machining I class, finished first at the state level of the Indiana SkillsUSA Precision Machining Competition at Indianapolis on April 16, 2016. He won a machinist toolbox, machinist tools and a $2500 to Vincennes University.  

Nick, a senior in the second year class, placed third in the contest and won an assortment of machinist tools.

Also competing for Pike Central were Logan, from Jasper, and Caleb.

The SkillsUSA Championships is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. Twenty two students from six regions competed at the Sate championship in Precision Machining.

The competition involved making parts on the vertical mill, lathe, and surface grinder as well as blueprint reading, shop math, and a general related written test.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and that each student excels while preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations. The events include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. At the annual national-level SkillsUSA Championships, nearly 6,000 students compete in 99 occupational and leadership skill areas.

SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a "success model of employer-driven youth development training program" by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nick, Noah, Caleb


Friday, February 26, 2016

PCHS Precision Machining Program receives Award for Excellence

The Precision Machining program at Pike Central High School and its instructor, Mr. Mark Scott, has received a 2016 Indiana Career and Technical Education Award for Excellence presented by the Indiana Department of Education.

The Indiana Career and Technical Education Awards for Excellence Program was started in 1984 to recognize Indiana’s outstanding career and technical education secondary and post-secondary programs within the field of career and technical education.  The program is supported by a grant through the Indiana Department of Education and by contributions from the Indiana Dept. of workforce Development, Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Indiana Association of Career and Technical Education Districts.

The Selection Committee criteria includes Program Design, Resource Utilization, and Program Outcomes.

The Precision Machining program at Pike Central High School was implemented in the fall of 2010 as a result of industry input and the lack of a program of this type in the surrounding area. The result is a program to develop a qualified pool of skilled employees and to also give students an additional career opportunity in a high demand field with jobs in this area.

Precision Machining I includes a wide range of classroom and laboratory experiences that develop skills and knowledge in the shaping of metal parts. Emphasis is placed on basic precision machining operations, including the use of lathes, mills, surface grinders, drill presses, and bench work. Basic metallurgy, blueprint reading, and shop math are also incorporated into classroom and laboratory exercises.

Precision Machining II is a more in-depth study of skills learned the first year, but with a stronger focus in CNC setup, operation, and programming. It concentrates on precision setup and inspection work, as well as machine shop calculations. Students develop skills in advanced machining and measuring parts that involve tighter tolerances and more complex geometry, along with a continued focus on safety.

All award recipients were recognized at a ceremony on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, in the Indiana Government Center South Auditorium in Indianapolis. Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, was the featured speaker. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pike Central CTE programs

Video by Evan Elrod. 
Thanks to Jarred T. Howard from the Patoka Valley Technical Cooperative.