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Schools could use your help!

nopoint

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Location
Wisconsin USA
Support your Schools!

Support your local or not so local schools!

Practical Machinist Rocks!

A while back I responded to a post on here about some old books that an individual had.


I let her know that I thought they could be beneficial to the students at the High School I teach at. Not only did Paul and Dorothy donate the books but they delivered them! They drove 12 hours to deliver the books and then made it into a bit of a sightseeing mission. WOW….

As a teacher in a small rural school Tech Ed (shop) program it’s hard to keep up with evolving tech and rising costs. I’m guessing it’s no different in larger schools or in other states. Schools with successful programs have strong community support. Sometimes it’s hard for educators to know where to start or who to ask. Please consider helping out your local schools!

What can you do?

-Volunteer to come in and speak

-Offer to support Instructor with machine or technique questions (many of us teach many different subjects and are not experts in any one area)

-Willingness to give facility tours

-Donate example/reject parts

-As a business owner make sure the local school board knows you think Tech Ed (shop) is important

-Donate excess/obsolete tooling

-Drops, the drops that are too good to throw out but have been cluttering up your space could be like gold to a Tech Ed Class

-Machines, that machine that is just too slow or inaccurate for production could still get years of use.

-Donate time to help or judge student projects or contest

-Be part of an advisory board (Many Tech Ed departments have advisory boards that meet a couple times a year and help to keep connections strong between school and business, schools that don’t do this should be!)

-$$ always useful but, be careful here make sure that it will actually get to the right person for the correct stuff!


Your local school not an option, some school or club nearby has to be doing something to help introduce students to the world of Technology. Someone would be super excited for some support. Still striking out? Pack a flat rate box and ship it to a school program that helped you, niece, nephew, grandkid…. Still striking out I can get you the address here!

Why?

Programs are dying. Students are not getting the exposure to the trades that they once did at school or generally at home. Don’t assume that a 14 year old kid has ever used a cordless drill, tape measure or knows how to chuck an air fitting together because the vast majority don’t. Teachers are leaving the trade because the grass is considerably greener on the other side of the fence. Schools are closing programs because they can’t fill the jobs. Or filling them with unqualified people and potentially running the program into the ground. I write this not to start a debate but to remind you that YOU could do something! From the oldest/experienced to the youngest/newest from button pusher to retired owner……. Then there are taxes, perhaps there can be a tax benefit on top of it all. Most schools are more than happy to provide a letter of donation…..
Every little bit counts.
 
All great points. I am also a teacher in a HS but I only teach machining. Where I teach at is an Area Career Center and each teacher only teaches one subject in the larger shop class spectrum. Local support goes a long way towards keeping a HS shop program going and the employers are begging for employees so putting some effort into their local HS might prove out to being a pipeline of future employees.
 
Teaching is an interesting pursuit. I suppose it takes a certain type of person to teach....in my case, I never try to teach anyone anything. Why? I find that no one wants to learn anything. I find a lot of people who 'wish' they knew how do things, but no one seems to want to go through any learning to get there.
 
Teaching is an interesting pursuit. I suppose it takes a certain type of person to teach....in my case, I never try to teach anyone anything. Why? I find that no one wants to learn anything. I find a lot of people who 'wish' they knew how do things, but no one seems to want to go through any learning to get there.
IMO, teaching, coaching, etc. are things you have to do because you like to do them and find it meaningful and not because you feel you will be successful only if your pupils become professionals in whatever you teach, coach, etc. Maybe one or two WILL, but you'll probably never know it. There are good and bad teachers just like there are good and bad doctors, landscapers, etc. but in general I respect the hell out of teachers given exactly your sentiments.
 
Good thoughts everyone... Interesting that is for sure! Teaching that is.. You never know what a student is going to do or ask, keeps it exciting. Rarely do we as teachers get much feedback from students on their successes after they leave. Every once in a while you hear from or about a student that has done something exceptional and isn't on the police blotter. Think my favorite was the student who claimed my welding class gave him the skills to do some great tig welding. (Razor blades, pop cans, pretty sure it wasn't me). I don't like to think of it as trade programs. At least not in the small school, more like trade awareness. A student should leave high school with an interest in an area ready to pursue it. My main point was though it isn't easy and if industry people to be interested they are going to have to be proactive! What ever industry it is!
 
I teach machine shop practice to a high school robotics team on weekends and teach to a wider audience occasionally at robotics confabs. Teaching well is really hard! It takes a ton of time to prepare. I have been around, learning, and practicing machining for 60 years, so I know it like the back of my hand, including obsolete and modern CNC practices. I have to put myself in the students shoes and figure out good ways to relate concepts they know nothing about to concepts they do know about.

Teaching well is as much about effective communication as it is about the material itself. You have to be confident and ready for anything. Light humor, humility, analogies, good pictures, graphics, and demonstrations are essential, which take time to prepare, revise, and practice. Most essential is really focusing on the students' perspective during the lesson. Are the students getting it? If not, you have to adjust on the fly, and that's not easy. Teaching is a skill that takes years to learn just like machining is a skill that takes years to learn.
 
You really need to go to a German school, they tend to have a theme, technical, computers, language etc, “ shop” as you call it is a quantum leap above what you find in say US or British schools, properly equipped workshops, ex industry teachers and lecturers, quite awe inspiring, hell pneumatic trainers, plc trainers automation panels, from festo mitsibushi ABB etc really good mills and lathes, cnc production cells they had the bloody lot, in spades.
I had to teach graduates in the U.K. basic chemistry, some couldn’t string sentaces ( ok mine are long but I know it! Shakespeare beat me though, but I’m welsh).
These countries invest in their future, we seem desperate to destroy ours, kids come out of school with no information in their heads but a drove of political, ideological, and dare I say it sex related “opinions” built in, terrifying imho.
Mark
 
You would think they'd want all the free help they could find. BUT it depends on the "teacher". I volunteered for 20 years in the metal shop then after the Covid fiasco and a new teacher that appeared to not want anyone in the shop that knew more about a lathe or mill than he did it ended. He was a "sheetmetal" peson.:-)
...lewie...
 
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) is trying to get high school districts to start pre-apprenticeship programs. The list of skills they want the schools to teach seem pretty rudimentary, along the lines of what I'd expect a mechanically inclined kid from 1960 or a farm kid from 1980 to just know. However, they seem to think this will make a big difference getting people ready for the actual manufacturing apprenticeship job programs.
 
Education here swings from one extreme to another ......driven by costly consultant reports ....common sense plays no part ...........back in my day ,the dummies were hidden in trade classes........now an even more useless dumping ground has been discovered ......learning aboriginal languages .
 
I am leaving public education this year. I taught manufacturing and technology education at a rural school here in Virginia as well as Physics and Environmental Science. I hold bachelors in Tech Ed and a Masters in physics. I have been hired s the Director of a non-profit machining school focused on manual and CNC machining, giving our students the ability to certify NIMS Level I.
Being in public education and trying to teach an industry standard is almost impossible. First problem is the high school students don't know the benefit of learning a real trade. Second is the school guidance councilors have there head so far up there college applications, that they ignore any type of technical education or training. I offered MSI and MSSC manufacturing certifications and couldn't get enough students to even make the classes, and if, by chance I did, they wouldn't continue long enough to take the certification exams.
Anyway, if any of you manufacturers that are in or around the mid-atlantic region of the US and would like to help support a 501-3c non-profit machining school with used equipment, technical help or scrap materials we can use, please let me know.
Joe Parker
New Pathways Tech LLC
9440 James Madison Hwy
Rapidan VA
434-602-2735
 
nopoint said:
Programs are dying. Students are not getting the exposure to the trades that they once did at school or generally at home. Don’t assume that a 14 year old kid has ever used a cordless drill, tape measure or knows how to chuck an air fitting together because the vast majority don’t. Teachers are leaving the trade because the grass is considerably greener on the other side of the fence. Schools are closing programs because they can’t fill the jobs. Or filling them with unqualified people and potentially running the program into the ground. I write this not to start a debate but to remind you that YOU could do something! From the oldest/experienced to the youngest/newest from button pusher to retired owner……. Then there are taxes, perhaps there can be a tax benefit on top of it all. Most schools are more than happy to provide a letter of donation…..
Every little bit counts.

I'm surprised to hear this from a teacher in Wisconsin. Many school districts have partnered with the local technical college system to address the problem of lack of qualified personnel entering the profession. Dane County, Rock County, Grant County, Waushara County and others have partnered with existing technical schools to expand training in technical careers.

They have realized it's far too expensive for each school district to outfit and maintain a facility and the equipment necessary to train students who may aspire to enter the field. Kids that are interested can sign up for classes at the local technical school. Classes are held throughout the normal school day. In Milton the technical school shop is about a mile from the high school. In Wautoma it's a short walk across the parking lot.

MATC (Madison Area Technical College) or Madison College as they like to call it today even has evening courses for adults who might be interested in changing careers and hobbyists. II haven't checked in with them in a couple years, but as late as 2020 there was a waiting list to enter the machining or tool and die maker programs. These are not small programs. The Madison east campus has at least 4 large shops and several classrooms dedicated to the machining industry.

I toured the Milton campus of the Rock County facility a few years ago. It was outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, and open to any high school student in the district. At the time there were still openings for a few new students, but they were filling up quickly.

These school districts are miles ahead of where they were 20, 30, or even 50 years ago. When I toured the Milton high school a few years ago as part of a class reunion they were just starting the partnership with the Rock County Technical College. It was a smart move on their part in that about the only equipment left in the high school shop was a clapped-out Bridgeport and a rundown Enco lathe. The mill was purchased when I was going to school there in the 1960's.

Money is tight. We have to come to the realization that it's time to combine efforts and provide a first-class education for those wishing to enter the machining industry. It's far less expensive and far more efficient to partner than for each high school to attempt to provide the space, manpower, and machinery to train the next generation of machinists.
 








 
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