Photos by Morgan Plunkett
The zing of a table saw, the clap of wood planks bouncing off one another and the high pitched buzz of the air filtration system fill the Woodshop. They create a noise so deafening it can only be penetrated by one thing: the booming voice of Industrial Design teacher Shaban Scott.
East offers two different Industrial Design classes this year, Woods 1 and Woods Design. Both of these courses allow students to develop a comprehensive range of skills around the tools and machinery of the Woodshop classroom.
“[I love that Woodshop] allows you to turn an idea into an actual, physical something that you can put your hands on,” Scott said. “I find that process very enjoyable, and I notice students in the classes are the same way.”
After spending more than two months learning how to safely operate each piece of machinery, including eight or nine large stationary machines, Woods 1 students spend the entire year making projects that demonstrate the use of each of these tools.
Starting out by learning how to cut a simple wood board with a table saw, they finish the year by making a Mother’s Day box.
In the upper level classes, students are also offered a chance to be creative with what they decide to build.
“In the second, third and fourth year, it becomes more about learning through doing,” Scott said. “Students come up with their own projects and their own ideas, and we push forward on seeing how we can create those.”
The Woodshop can also be helpful in other academic areas due to the formulas and spacial reasoning skills used in the class.
“Classes such as physics, science, calculus, trigonometry, geometry – a lot of times play into different projects that were building, and we’ll have to bring up and recall the information for those classes, and apply them to the real world scenarios,” Scott said.
Scott has seen many students develop a passion for Woodshop that allows them to pursue a career in the trades fields, such as mechanical engineering. He has even helped students get scholarships for these fields.
“Pick a job or career path that’s almost a hobby,” Scott said. “That way, you won’t have to get up and go to work in the morning. It feels more like you’re getting up to go do something that you really enjoy doing.”