High school’s wood shop is a busy place | VailDaily.com

High school’s wood shop is a busy place

Cindy Ramunno
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyCJ Spell,16, sets another five pounds in the bucket making it 55 pounds to test how much weight his and Travis Padgett's structure bridge can hold, Tuesday in Eagle Valley wood shop class.

GYPSUM – Remember walking into your high school wood shop class and finishing up that vase you worked on all semester? Well, wood shop has an entire new look for students graduating in this century. Both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain high schools offer cutting-edge programs to students, with Battle Mountain running a business under teacher Eric Smith.

Teacher Anthony Matthews at Eagle Valley High School is offering “Introduction to Technology,” where students are competing in the Kinetic Cup Contest. Students are building mousetrap-powered cars to see how far they can travel, and they can only use one mousetrap — which they can’t modify. But, they can use any material they choose to build the car. In Woods I, Matthews has students build a lamp with three small compartments and in Advanced Woods, students think up their own projects.

Matthews says vocational and technical programs keep some students in school. “Not everybody is going to be a doctor or lawyer. There is a huge need for builders and custom wood workers in this area,” Matthews says.

Principal Mark Strakbein agrees.”What Anthony brings to EVHS is the ability to engage kids in school. He’s very good at it. Not only does he bring expertise in a vocational area, he also brings expertise in getting kids to buy in to school,” says Strakbein, who explains that those efforts lead to potential career opportunities for kids.Vail Colorado

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