Gilbertsville-Mount Upton students completed a variety of Technology projects last year, packing the shop with such things as a saddle cabinet, rustic coffee tables, walnut cutting boards, foot stools, shaker peg boards, circuit boards, electric motors, problem-solving activities, and more.
Then, COVID-19 changed the world.
The 2019-2020 school year closed with months of remote instruction, and school is a lot different in 2020-2021.
Technology teacher Ken Held said the program is still project-based, despite new challenges stemming from the pandemic. “We had to scale back some of the larger projects due to the time constraints and lack of student access to machinery,” he said, “but students are still making furniture.”
Those enrolled in Furniture class have already built end tables, rustic shelves, antique-style wooden trays, and more. Students recently received a bag full of wood at home to turn into a rustic shelf. Since some lack machinery at home, pieces were pre-cut in the shop. Handsaws were distributed, too, so they could make the final cuts at home. One student, Kendra Hammond, even gathered her own pile of cherry to work on with the machines at home.
Middle school students are still hands-on even when they’re learning in a virtual setting. Some of the student projects include are foot stools, peg boards and electronics. A few have been scaled back, but technology classes continue nonetheless.
“I see some students thrive in the technology room where they struggle in other courses,” Held said. “Technology fills a void as core courses don’t always offer a technical-based environment.”
Dominic Hartwell, Natalie Gross, Jeff Barnes, Blake SanSoucie, Madison Lockwood and Jenna Carpenter helped prefabricate some parts to make foot stools for 32 students, and hundreds of pieces of lumber have been sent to their homes.
Most students have been online at home for Technology class, doing floor plan drawings, 3-D modeling on computers, and other drawings and activities.
“We are making the best of this, trying to still offer a variety of opportunities for students,” Held said.
DDP/CAD class enables students to obtain college credit in the drawing class using AutoCAD through Tompkins Cortland Community College. Whether students attend college or not, they will have work-based experience with a program found in many industries. Special thanks to Technology Director Eric Voorhees for creating a link for students to download the CAD program so they can work on it from home!