This Week In the Classroom: The Simple Bench

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve let y’all into the woodshop at work.  We’ve been building the “simple bench”.  If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love building benches – butterfly benches, green benches, small benches and long benches.  My boys have been working off this pattern: And I give them lots of flexibility in said pattern.  We started with three 3 foot lengths of 1×12 stock.  The students then cut their bench seats to any length as I rip the rest of the stock into 3 1/2″ strips for the aprons and 5 1/2″ strips … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: The Simple Bench

Teacher Tip: Use Two Bench Hooks

Dadoes are much easier to cut when you use two bench hooks…. You can even chisel out the waste right there.  My students are having such success using bench hooks, knee height workbenches and the tool chest I’m reconsidering my thoughts on bigger workbenches.  I’d like a better assembly table, but it ain’t nothing if I don’t have it. The kids are killing the simple bench project – in-progress pics coming soon. Continue reading Teacher Tip: Use Two Bench Hooks

Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair

You’ve been to a science fair, right?  Tri-fold boards, volcanoes and blue ribbons.  This month, my colleagues and I shepherded the “STEM Fair” into existence.  The STEM Fair is a showcase for any Science, Technology, Engineering or Math project our students produced over the course of a month.  My school produced forty to fifty blog posts, hundreds of digital pictures, a dozen two minute videos, thirty presentations and about ten individual physical showcases.  I have a room filled with Japanese art-chemistry, rocket cars, rockets of various propulsion methods, a small robot, a Lego-Branded robot, paper gliders, a seesaw and more.  … Continue reading Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair

STEM Project: The CO2 Rocket Car

This is my favorite project from this month’s STEM Fair.  A student of mine decided to build CO2 Rocket cars.  I loved building one of these in middle school.  I distinctly remember my simple teardrop design coming in last and remarking – well, that’s unfair.  I didn’t know I could do THAT! – when I saw the winners thin, stretchy, leggy thing.  I looked like a duck next to a greyhound. Last time, my teacher bought a kit.  This time, I chose a simple design for this piece – a pine wedge cut from a 2×4, 1/4 inch dowels as … Continue reading STEM Project: The CO2 Rocket Car

Student-Built Seesaw (He see-d, he saw-ed, he fell down)

Yesterday, we completed a physics demonstration: The adjustable see-saw.  This seesaw has holes drilled into the balancing beam, allowing students/users to experiment with the capabilities of numerous levers.  You just shift its position along the beam and viola!  Instantly, a foolish grin hits your face as you try to balance anew.

More pictures after the jump…

Continue reading “Student-Built Seesaw (He see-d, he saw-ed, he fell down)”