There’s a lot more to carpentry than learning how to hammer in nails, because if that were the case, the program would only take a day to complete. Calculations play a crucial role in a carpenter’s day and they are often required to layout the geometry from a set of plans.
Once during a geometry lesson, a student asked why he needed to draw an ellipse, “Can’t I just draw it with a computer?” he insisted. Drawing it on paper had produced a sense of disconnect in his mind and we needed to put things back into perspective. I said, “Let’s take this somewhere and make it real.”
The students now have a great time drawing out geometric shapes using only a stick, a measuring tape and some chalk. The parking lot becomes the paper and students eagerly try to outdo each other by drawing the best ellipse or a host of other shapes.
There’s also some incidental fun that arises when students from other programs exit the building to find mysterious drawings throughout the parking area.
We pretend they’re crop circles… shh, don’t say anything.
Don Gillies, Carpentry teacher