Room #156 saws on during distance learning

Brooklyn Carrillo, staff writer

Usually in classroom 156 there would be a raucous coming from every direction, sawdust everywhere you looked, and students buzzing around throughout the workshop. However, this year students had to bring the shop to their homes and class is being taught online. Having to teach about thirty students for five classes over zoom is no easy feat but for one Industrial Arts teacher, Scott Mannien, it’s not as hard as it sounds.

“The kids work so independently and the fact that a lot of kids don’t participate on zoom and ask a lot of questions I could actually probably teach a lot more than thirty at once,” Mannien said.

With students having to work at home Mannien bought every student a kit of hand tools that could be used at home. “We were definitely limited to the tools we could use,” sophomore Connor Hofferbert said.

With limited space and the amount of tools at home for his students Mannien had to completely redesign the projects and become more creative so that there would be no need for power tools this year.

Another challenge Manninen had to overcome was to use two screens while using zoom when showing the class the next step to a project, he also encourages students to turn their camera on so that he can help them. Students can go back and watch the recordings of what happened in class whenever they want. Learning online means that even without power tools students have resources that can help them such as watching videos from the youtube channel woodshop156. This not only helps students when they come across a problem, it also gives them a chance to get ahead on their project at home if they desire to do so.

This year students learned how to persevere through the problems they faced on their own more than ever. They had to become responsible with their time management and make the choice themselves on whether or not they would watch class recordings and youtube videos and when they would work on

“I miss the environment, the people, the closeness to material” senior George Bonilla said.

their projects. “It’s like ‘Oh I need to go work on my project,” said Hofferbert. 

“I miss the environment, the people, the closeness to material” senior George Bonilla said. Working at home is a slower pace compared to working in the shop especially since the energy of the class and their motivation isn;t as high this year. On the positive side the students’ work is not as rushed, the quality is better, and they pay more attention to detail on their own projects instead of how far along their peers are.

A project that the advanced class will be working on during the second semester is a cigar box haikyuu which many, including Bonilla, are “excited for”. So far the woodshop students have worked on speed squares, which is a tool that is used to mark right angles, forty-fives, and to measure. They also made a sanding block for them to use, a phone charging chair which has a hole at the bottom for a charging cord to go through, and a wooden tool box for the tools they were given and have made. 

Despite having to learn how to make wood projects over zoom and youtube, having to redesign new projects, and having limited resources, the students and the instructor alike in woodshop this year have risen above those challenges and continue to do so. With every project they make they show that even when the world around us changes we can adapt with it.