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Why woodshop needs to be mandatory again

Senior+Matthew+Jodoin+adjusts+the+measurements+of+a+table+saw+in+orders+to+precisely+trim+his+materials+in+Robert+Flanders+classroom+on+February+7.+A+table+saw+is+a+tool+with+a+circular+blade+placed+directly+under+a+table+that+is+powered+by+an+electric+motor%2C+which+allows+for+a+smooth+and+exact+cut.+
Senior Matthew Jodoin adjusts the measurements of a table saw in orders to precisely trim his materials in Robert Flanders classroom on February 7. A table saw is a tool with a circular blade placed directly under a table that is powered by an electric motor, which allows for a smooth and exact cut.

Senior Matthew Jodoin adjusts the measurements of a table saw in orders to precisely trim his materials in Robert Flanders classroom on February 7. A table saw is a tool with a circular blade placed directly under a table that is powered by an electric motor, which allows for a smooth and exact cut.

Senior Matthew Jodoin adjusts the measurements of a table saw in orders to precisely trim his materials in Robert Flanders classroom on February 7. A table saw is a tool with a circular blade placed directly under a table that is powered by an electric motor, which allows for a smooth and exact cut.

Anisa Velazquez, Staff Reporter

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For many hardworking students born into an era of rapid advancements in technology, woodshop may sound like a class from the past, referenced in their favorite childhood television shows, but it is still relevant today’s society. Woodshop should be mandatory in all schools because it creates well rounded students, provides them with basic life skills, and allows them to save/make money in the future.

Schools around the country propel students into schedules of AP and STEM classes to provide them with more opportunity at the traditional idea of a successful college career. According to  College Atlas and Forbes 30% of college freshman will dropout in their first year. Additionally, 13% of college dropouts left because they did not feel college was the right fit for them. Not to mention that there is an Aging skilled workforce, as 53% of people in with skilled trade jobs are over 45.

First and foremost, as the statistics show, young people leaving college early without a degree are the same students who did not have room in their schedule to take a woodshop or vocational class in high school, and are unqualified to work with the tools and materials that are required for a skilled trade job. High school is the perfect place to familiarize students with new ideas because there are no real commitments and they can freely experience and discover a variety of potential careers.  For some, a career as a carpenter or a construction worker is their first choice. For others, they may envision an office or retail job as their occupation. However, life is not perfect and plans change. Making woodshop mandatory would force all students to become well rounded individuals. “It’s great that I will always have something to fall back on,” senior Matthew Jodoin said. “I could go into this career if I wanted to. This class teaches you how to use the tools, so you aren’t completely fresh to it later.”

Furthermore, talented and educated adults simply do not know the basic life skills taught in shop class. The fact that there are many surgeons, lawyers, and biomedical engineers who cannot replace a light switch is simply absurd. People we trust with our livelihood are uneducated in simple tasks that would be ingrained in the brains of people generations ago, when shop class was mandatory. Senior Eli Staudenmaier realizes this, as he is currently planning to be an architectural engineer, but is taking woodshop in order to be prepared for sudden obstacles in his adult life. “It’s important to get as much experience as you can, in anything that can possibly relate to your field,” Staudenmaier said. “Being an architectural engineer, I may not always need to work with power tools, but if I do, I will be able to help the situation instead of making it worse.”

Additionally, the demand for skilled trade jobs across the country and the potential to make a substantial living using these skills is largely forgotten as the popularity of the STEM field increases. As high school students stray away from shop classes and into STEM oriented classes, the severe lack of skilled trade workers dramatically increases, as over half of current workers are over 45. With a lack of workers, salaries begin to increase for those who do decide to pursue a career in their given skilled trade. Moreover, even if a person has a steady job but is tight with money, they have the ability to use what they have learned in shop class as a way to make extra money. Beyond making money, if woodshop became mandatory, almost everyone could save money. “Building Trades and Construction Design Technology” teacher Robert Flanders makes a great point as to why taking his class is extremely advantageous. “People who take this class will save themselves money when they go to have their own apartment or house,” Flanders said. “They’ll be able to maintain their property by fixing things themselves,”      

In short, woodshop should become a mandatory class for high schoolers. The class is not only useful and profitable but in addition to core classes, can create an incredibly well balanced human being. For the future of any person, regardless of what they have in mind career wise, spending 45 minutes in a high school shop class over the course of a few years may “build” doors they never knew existed.

Senior Antonio Marquez sands wood in order to construct his assignment during his Building Trades and Construction Design Technology class on February. 7. Students build a variety of items, from toolboxes and stools to fuse ball tables.

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About the Writer
Anisa Velazquez, Reporter

Anisa Velazquez is the Features Editor of the Brantley Banner for the 2018-2019 school year. She is a junior who participates in Track and Field as a...

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Why woodshop needs to be mandatory again