Our school boasts the most diverse student community in Connecticut. We celebrate our differences and come together for award-winning academics, athletics, and a vibrant social life. Our young people come from every conceivable background and every part of the world. The downside of this diversity is that students do not share a common frame of reference. Hands on projects and activities that allow students to bring their strengths to a group effort are definitely the most productive. It is a challenge to create authentic projects that will engage students.
Our career and technology education department is committed to authentic students centered project based learning. To that end, we support the Freedom Pen project by creating hand made pens for deployed soldiers. We cut hardwood, drill and mount them in order to turn pens on a lathe which will be sent to deployed service men and women. There is a range of materials that can be used to create pens. I have been working to incorporate acrylics and stabilized woods to make the experience of turning go beyond just turning the wood at hand to material processing. Creating stabilized wood, acrylic blanks and hybrids opens a whole world of creativity to our young woodworkers and exposes them to industrial processes. The materials we enjoy working with don't just fall off trees. These materials are complex. Drying, dying, stabilizing and casting will open a whole world of industrial process and creativity to our students.
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