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PTI Students Learn While Spreading Holiday Cheer

Students at Pittsburgh Technical Institute have once again volunteered to create an hour-long music and light show this holiday season.

It’s the fourth year in a row that the college’s School of Energy and Electronics Technology has produced the show.

Dave Becker, academic chair for the Smart Building Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology, said students are excited to see people enjoy the fruits of their labor.

“It takes them over a month to synchronize the lights,” Becker said. “When they finished, we loaded it into the system and they actually got to see it controlling the lights. They were really, really happy.”

The light show is based in the 2,500 square foot campus pavilion, and includes more than 10,000 individual lights and 22 holiday songs. Visitors can tune into 89.5 on their radios to enjoy the show from inside their vehicles.

Becker said the system required a lot of upgrades this year.

“We managed to completely rebuild the system this year, because it’s been out there for four years now and it’s starting to fail,” Becker said. “We put in four new controllers, we installed a new sound system, we installed a new permanent computer … (and) we installed control cables underground in an underground conduit.”

He said it’s a great opportunity for students to learn project management skills.

They began working on the project in early November, and Becker said it had to be done before PTI hosted its annual children’s Christmas party on December 3rd.

“That was probably the biggest lesson any of them got out of this project, the fact that it had to be done on time,” Becker said.

The music and light show began December 2nd and continues through Christmas.