Shop Classes

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Motivated by something I read online, I just visited my old high school's web page and couldn't locate any remnants of wood shop, metal shop, or auto shop. Have these sorts of classes mostly been removed (across the board) from high school programs now?
Bill
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Probably disappeared from most schools, though you might still find such classes at "career centers*" -- essentially high schools geared to technical subjects -- though many are skewing to robotics, networking, and other computer-related subjects.
*There are nine in central Indiana. The best-known is probably Washington Township's J. Everett Light Career Center. Lawrence, Ben Davis, Central Nine are the only others that float to mind at the moment.
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Struck down by severe cases of profound stupidity, most school districts have closed their trade schools. My school teacher friends (one is an Industrial Arts teacher and the other is a teacher career counselor) have told me that the high schools now consider themselves college prep schools, not schools that teach life skills as well. In that light, there is no need to teach people how to weld, do carpentry, electrical work, A/C work, bake, cook, cater, etc.
After all, the folks that take those classes for any length of time won't be going to college anyway in their eyes. So the mainstream of the teachers and administrators are not concerned with them.
To back that up, one of the most prestigious school districts here in town layed off or moved to other subjects if possible the Industrial Arts teachers. About 35 of them in the high schools.
Now they proudly have no possible blue collar type individuals that work on cars or build cabinets.
But if the get that kid to graduate, he will be ready for college! That is, if his parents can afford it, and if he/she is actually interested and wants to go.
If you don't choose college as your path in high school these days, you are screwed.
Personally, I don't get it. I talked with an administrator (roofing client of mine) for a different district where they serve an average or better income group of families. He said their classes were always full, and the kids had to keep their other grades up to stay in. They literally turn away the kids as they don't have enough classroom/shop space.
Why they are closing these programs, I don't know. Knowing what my A/ C man makes (holy crap!!) and the guy that works on my truck (had some of his certifications before he left high school), I don't see why those aren't viable career paths. They do quite well.
Beats the hell out of me.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You ain't alone Robert. Even though I ended up behind a computer desk for most of my livelyhood, the most valuable life skills I've retained are from middle and high school mechanical drawing, metal shop, and wood shop classes. I've become a fair cook, but I wish it had been fashionable for guys to take the girly classes as I'm sure I'd be a much better cook - seems to be an important life skill especially looking at the girth of many of the younger generations.
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Well said.
nb
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*trim*

Home ec and shop classes are essential, if for nothing else but mental stability. They get kids off their hind ends and gives their brain a chance to relax from the stress of memorization. Trying to stuff facts into a person's head just isn't good for them. They'll either overload and get things messed up or go nuts.
Humans just are not designed to sit and store and retrieve data all day. That's the job of a database. They're designed to be flexible and mobile, in order to deal with a wide variety of problems and issues.
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On 22 Apr 2010 08:36:13 GMT, the infamous Puckdropper

Well stated, Pucky. There's a book about that. http://fwd4.me/AtS Crawford's _Shop Class as Soulcraft_. He writes at a high level, so it's not a quick or easy book to read. Now that I've got more time, I'll finish reading it.
-- ...in order that a man may be happy, it is necessary that he should not only be capable of his work, but a good judge of his work. -- John Ruskin
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On 4/22/2010 12:07 AM, Doug Winterburn wrote:

Where I come from men are born cooks and teach their wives. Home Ec was so the girls could learn how to wash up.
:)
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Last update: 4/15/2010
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I've been looking at your message and thinking and recollecting for half an hour...it's sad, sad, sad!
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On 4/21/2010 11:39 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It's even worse than that - those who do graduate have no sense of /possibilities/ other than what they might see that already is...
...and if they should dream up a solution to some problem that requires them to build something new, they won't have a clue how to go about doing that, or with what - and once the old-timers are no longer around to mentor, the solutions and products (some of 'em, anyway) will come from some other part of the world.
Methinks it was a foolish, expensive choice.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Around here (Oregon) the shop type classes started migrating to the Community Colleges in the early 1970s. By the 1990s the migration was pretty much complete. There are some exceptions and some experimentation with 'magnet' schools here and there, but the notion of 'Industrial Arts' is gone.
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It's crazy as, even if you're only interested in high tech as a society (which is insane), industrial arts should still be required for anyone doing engineering. Engineers (and I'm one) need to know how to design, draw, and build.
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wrote:

The very best design engineers spent their first year or more in Manufacturing - the place where you find out that using 15 different types of screw is not necessarily a Good Idea.
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"Scatter" wrote:

-------------------------------------------- Those places exist, they are called Co-Op schools.
I went to one.
Lew
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Scatter wrote: ...

'Pends on what _KIND_ of engineer one is (and I'm one, too :) ).
Spent nearly 40 years in engineering (nuclear and fossil utilities, nuclear-based analyzer instruments for coal producers/prep plants and power plants, robotics and controls, instrumentation, ...) and never drew or directly built a thing in my entire career. I was/am a physics/math/solver type...designers were for designing and the manufacturing guys built the stuff... :)
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The rule is always proven by the exception?
Pure analysis/math kind of engineering jobs aren't exactly the most common out there (although academia or particular fields will have significant numbers).
I consider a good engineer to be well rounded and able to handle engineering situations outside of their speciality. That doesn't mean that we can do anything though.
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LOL - We had a lot of "Power Point Engineers" in my old company.
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Scatter wrote: ...

I spent only about 10-12 years of the 40 in a field more than remotely related to my engineering major specialty. In consulting, I rarely did even a very similar task more than once; in general, my job was always to work my self _out_of_ a job by solving whatever problem was the bottleneck or hang up. Sometimes it had to do w/ a product functional design, sometimes w/ QA/reliability/manufacturing process control, other times a new instrument process (pulverized coal flow by a novel concept vis advanced nonlinear signal processing was one); for a while did field support and nuclear training and site-specific implementation for online analyzers at coal mines, prep plants and mine-mouth power plants to adapt the company's base instrument to specific situations, ... While I worked in analytical fields virtually entire career, it was not in any one narrow discipline. If I would claim any area of particular enjoyment it would probably be the application of probabilistic and statistical techniques to engineering problems and similar.
One thing I _can't_ do is draw well; I avoided the second semester of drawing as a freshman in uni because I heard the plan was to switch from two 2-hr courses to a single 3-hr course the following year so I figured if I had two hours they'd let me substitute something else for the lacking credit for the four in the curriculum when I enrolled by the time I was ready to graduate... :)
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On 5/10/2010 8:40 PM, dpb wrote:

My first engineering job involved beating other engineers over the head until they came up with the results that were needed. They really needed somebody with a management degree, not engineering, for that job. The next one I was a number cruncher and I was a lot happier with that one but it didn't last.
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J. Clarke wrote: ...

...
My first employer (like many in those days) had two "career ladders" for engineering; a management and technical supposedly parallel path. The technical ladder, however, was missing a very large number of rungs of opportunities for advancement as compared to the managerial side. My first boss was always searching for ways to provide additional benefits at annual review time but my choice to stay technical limited the options of positions available so when ran out of $$ at grade he talked me into taking the managerial slot. I reluctantly agreed but discovered I simply was so disinterested in such other tasks that were adjunct to the position such as yours mentioned above plus the scheduling, progress reporting, etc., etc., that I soon ceased doing much of it and was relieved of the position. This happened three times iirc; I much later at his retirement shindig learned that was his plan all along until I had accrued the "time in grade" to actually get the Sr Engineer title as he knew personnel wouldn't make him retract the pay and office once bestowed... :)
May "RAT" rest in peace; best man to work for ever (and not a bad engineer)...
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