The difference our program makes in the lives of our students is complex and rich.
In some instances, students are inspired by the exposure offered to them in our program, and they base potential career path decisions off of experiences from our program; sometimes these decisions are for students to go into the trades. These students go into positions with an increased awareness of industry’s safety protocols, like 5S management systems.
Students have told me that my class has helped them decide that the trades is something they do not want to do, which is just as important as finding out what it is a student does want to do.
Our program offers an in-house course selection comparable to those at our local university. One student, Colton, who couldn’t afford the gas for the trades classes he was taking at a local university, was able to maintain his industrial and skilled trades exposure by dual-enrolling in several our course offerings.
Our program maintains a positive attitude and that is a take away reported by one of my most recent seniors. Although, he is pursuing an accounting degree, he is floored by what he is able to accomplish using free CAD software. His increased confidence using CAD and observing a culture of positivity will carry weight for him in whatever field he chooses.
Other teachers have noticed an increased willingness to problem-solve and utilize creativity in students since the start of our program.
It's hard to say exactly what and how it is that the Hawk Shop is making a difference, but like energy in general; it's hard to describe. You know it when you see it.
About "Hawk Shop"
The Hawk Shop is the maker-space for Republic-Michigamme students and is available for use to 6th-12th grade students under the course title Industrial Arts. The shop operates using the original woodworking equipment to the building and is continuing progress to upgrade the shop to develop trade skill sets for today’s workforce.
The Hawk Shop exposes students to the diverse fields within skilled trade, and capitalizes on students strengths and interests to prepare students for entering a skilled trade position, and/or to utilize maker skills as a healthy creative outlet.