An Inspirational Education

I remember my days in school, math was a favored subject, my teacher always seemed to find a way to make it fun to learn. She inspired all of us to excel in the subject each and every day. Then there was Physical education, not my favorite class but it taught us endurance, perseverance and gave us the tools we needed to overcome all obstacles

But the one class I looked forward to each and everyday was shop class. It was a blast, learning how to build things from nothing, using tools that in some cases were bigger then me. Powerful machines that that when respected and used properly could make magic happen.

My instructor was a masterful woodworker, who was willing to share his knowledge with us, to guide us in every step from start to finish. He gave us the opportunity to use our imaginations and most of all he taught us respect; respect for the craft, for the tools and machines and respect for ourselves and others. He taught us about teamwork and gave us the tools we needed mentally and physically to accomplish our goals. Now at that age, our goals were not on the same level as they are at our age today. But the fundamentals were the same. The fondest memories I have of school, are of shop class.

Schools all over the country have taken shop class out of the curriculum. Yet there are some schools who still provide this beneficial course. About a week ago you may remember my story about my infinity box project going to Davisville Middle School in Rhode Island.

Michael Berndt, the Technology Education Instructor at Davisville Middle School contacted me after seeing my infinity mirror build video. He explained to me that he was interested in introducing this project to his students to build. After much communication, I sent Michael the infinity mirror i built in the video along with some instructions and other items to help him instruct his students in the build.

After getting to know Michael, it is unmistakable how passionate he is about his students and his program. The DMS Wood Technology Design and Manufacturing Course has students from the 6th grade to the 8th grade and provides them with the skills not only to build amazing things from wood, but skills that will allow them to prosper in the real world today.

The courses website DMS Technology wood design & Manufacturing says it all on the home page. This course is all about:

  • Being technologically literate
  • being able to Learn how to safely use a wide assortment of tools and machines
  • Being able to apply practical knowledge from other subject areas(Math, Science, Language Arts, etc.)
  • Being able to gain experience in the conversion of raw materials into finished goods
  • Building teamwork and communication skills, Incorporating the fun of learning by providing kinesthetic and "Hands on" activities aimed at solving problems and finding solutions
  • Applying co-curricular content in real-life situations.

Freedom Pen ProjectAll very key points, that in my opinion all school students should be taught. and have the opportunity to learn. I am honored that one of my projects will be taught in this course. These young individuals are making some amazing things, and are involved in some amazing projects. For example they are making Freedom Pens, for service men and women over seas.

(pictured at right, Freedom Pens packaged and ready for shipping)

A great project spearheaded by the Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Forums. Michael got his students involved and they are making some great pens. His students are also building other very innovative projects. Be sure to check out the course website, there are many great photos of the kids making projects as well as the course outline. It is very inspirational.

Michael will be providing me with pictures of his students making the infinity mirror, and when he does, I will be sure to post them for you all to see. Stop By Michael's Facebook Page and say hi, he is a great guy to get to know and an inspiration to the younger generation of woodworkers.

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