As educators, we do our best to prepare our students for the future—but what does this...
Many praise CTE coursework for Project Based Learning assignments, a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills working on authentic and complex real-world scenarios and challenges. Fewer students take advantage of the Project-Based Learning framework than Robert Vivian, a Senior automotive and welding student enrolled in both advanced automotive and welding classes.
Robert met me at the Welding shop. He wheeled in a rolling toolbox; deceptively heavy, the portable weighed more than a hundred pounds. Opening the toolbox, one found your typical tool assortment; screwdrivers, wrenches, ratchets, socket sets– but it looked different from your average toolbox.
Like Tetris pieces, Robert organized his tools with economic care. The tools sat in a tidy labyrinth of trays, cabinets, and mounts, making perfect use of the space.
Robert explained that he built the socket trays and metal cabinets within the portable toolbox, customizing and welding according to his need as an intern mechanic.
He built a toolbox his Sophomore year to gather the tools he used in his automotive class, eventually springing into projects that carried over into his job at an automotive shop.
“He’s an exceptional student,” Automotive Teacher Michael Hassell said. “He’s taken all of the automotive courses offered and has gone above and beyond by acting as an intern for me in the shop during his sophomore year. In his Junior year, Robert took advantage of an internship at a local auto shop. After that internship, his shop asked Robert to become a paid, part-time employee.”
Robert’s boss now asks him to aid with show welding projects, working on customized Jeep parts requiring well-rounded expertise in both automotive and welding fields.
Robert saw a need at his job, so he took on projects in his woodworking and welding classes according to his need. There’s an economy of learning using all of his CTE courses that’s cool to see.
He is an exemplary student, demonstrating the experience and onsite learning one amasses working on CTE projects and how a CTE course can propel you toward post-graduation courses.
Robert attested that every student should try out CTE– especially welding. To quote,
“It’s beneficial for any tech job. It’s been super helpful for my career.”