Students taking classes at the new Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy have a variety of subjects to choose from to help them prepare for a future career in several high-demand industries.

On Wednesday, Cobb County school officials held a tour of the new $14.5-million academy constructed on the Osborne High School campus near Smyrna. The Cobb Innovation & Technology Academy is one of the school district’s six magnet programs that accepts applications from students within the system. Students who are accepted take their core academic classes at Osborne and their magnet courses at the Academy.

It can hold up to 500 students, but this year about 156 students are enrolled. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, students didn’t begin attending classes in-person at the facility until Nov. 5.

“We are excited to get them in here and it definitely was a team effort,” said Dr. Tiffany Barney, the director of the academy.

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11/11/2020 — Marietta, Georgia — Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy Director Dr. Tiffany Barney uses a three dimensional anatomy screen in a medical learning classroom in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

11/11/2020 —  Marietta, Georgia — Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy Director Dr. Tiffany Barney uses a three dimensional anatomy screen in a medical learning classroom in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
11/11/2020 — Marietta, Georgia — Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy Director Dr. Tiffany Barney uses a three dimensional anatomy screen in a medical learning classroom in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Areas of study at the Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy are grouped into three categories: Maker Industries, Emerging Technologies and Healthcare & Community Services. More than a dozen career paths are open to students to study this year, some of which are automotive, electrical, HVAC, emergency medical responder, patient care, phlebotomy, surgical technology and computer networking.

Students taking each class will have the opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences with real equipment. For example, students taking the patient care class will learn how to treat people in a hospital setting. Mannequins are set up in hospital beds and are wired to provide verbal responses, including cries of pain. Students can also learn to take patient vitals, how to draw blood, apply sutures and respond to emergency medical situations in a residential setting.

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11/11/2020 — Marietta, Georgia — Medical simulation mannequins are displayed for students to work within a health and medical classroom at Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA) in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. CITA offers different career pathways in three “pillars”; Maker industries, Emerging Technologies and Health Care and Community Services. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

11/11/2020 —  Marietta, Georgia — Medical simulation mannequins are displayed for students to work within a health and medical classroom at Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA) in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. CITA offers different career pathways in three “pillars”; Maker industries, Emerging Technologies and Health Care and Community Services. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
11/11/2020 — Marietta, Georgia — Medical simulation mannequins are displayed for students to work within a health and medical classroom at Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA) in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. CITA offers different career pathways in three “pillars”; Maker industries, Emerging Technologies and Health Care and Community Services. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

The cyber security class will allow students to learn programming on a computer network that is separate from the school district’s, Barney said. Students will also learn “hacking," but Barney said the students will become “ethical hackers,” learning the skill so they can spot the activity and stop it.

Barney said the subjects offered by the academy were developed after a needs assessment determined which fields are in high demand in the area. Barney, who worked with the Georgia Department of Education before starting as director of the academy, said she was happy to have the chance to work closely with students again.

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11/11/2020 — Marietta, Georgia —An automotive classroom at Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

11/11/2020 —  Marietta, Georgia —An automotive classroom at Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
11/11/2020 — Marietta, Georgia —An automotive classroom at Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy in Marietta, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

“The students are really what make it special,” she said of the Academy. “They have the opportunity to develop hands-on skills and get some industry certification before they graduate, and this is what makes this place so unique.”

Cobb school board member Dr. Jaha Howard, whose district includes the Academy, said students completing classes at the facility will have the necessary skills to begin work immediately in these "very critical fields” once they graduate. Howard also said that facility is a great addition to the county, specifically the South Cobb area.

“I think it’s a tremendous jewel to have in our area," he said.

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