Innovative BCHS senior designs/carves guitar using coded programming equipment

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – 18-year-old Barren County High School student Thomas Dennison has always challenged himself in his hands-on classes. Now, for his senior year design engineering capstone project, he’s used complex technology to program a fully functioning guitar.

“I’ve always liked music. I always like listening to music. I thought maybe if I built a guitar it would spark in me the patience to learn how to play,” reasoned Dennison.

The Trojans’ CAD and design engineering teacher Carl Owens introduced this passion project to his classes a few years ago out of his own love of music.

“I love seeing that spark,” Owens said of his students. “And I really saw it in Thomas with this project. I love that [the students] come in maybe not sure what they’re going to do and then they find it and they’re like ‘I could do this. I could really make a career out of this.’”

Dennison said this project made him feel “Pretty proud. I’m more impressed after I got it done and got it all wired because I wasn’t expecting it to honestly work as good as it does.”

3D printers, laser engravers, and CNC machines like the one Thomas used to carve out his guitar are just some of the complex, advanced technology that these kids get the opportunity to work with.

Owens said the Barren County Area Technology Center‘s technology “gives them a good base for a future in a lot of careers.”

Dennison added that thanks to the school’s equipment, “I’ve done different 3D printed parts. I’ve taken specific parts and altered them for my benefit and made a lot of stuff I actually use every day now.”

Owens tells his students, “There’s a lot of work that goes into it, but you can do this.”