Dixon Middle School recently hosted its first College Day, with Dixon's school halls becoming a...
Lynchpins, siege weapons, car bodies, luxury housing. Just a few of the projects I saw students design using engineering software in Mr. Hansen’s CAD Architecture and Engineering classes. I recall my time in Mr. Hansen’s class as a Provo High Junior fondly. I still have plans from his class for a private redwood patio that I keep in my back pocket for someday soon, hopefully.
Students work on projects ranging in scale from nails and washers to cars and houses– after all, design is atomic, invisible, essential.
Below is a brief interview with Provo High School’s excellent CAD Architect and Engineering Design Teacher, Steve Hansen.
Q: What skills do you think students might be lacking before your class? What does your course offer new students?
A: I don’t think kids have as many hands-on opportunities to create things as they might have in the past. They might not be in the garage tinkering with or working on home projects because they have so many virtual options.
The hands-on aspect of the design is something I want to prioritize in my classroom. But there are still plenty of interested kids– our school CTE program is pretty deep. The desire is there, which is why our classes are important.
Q: What projects do students complete in your class?
A: Every student conceives of and creates actual house plans. Students devise, draw, and design their house plans– practical house plans. They build them according to best practices. Students use architectural software called Revit, where their designs are three-dimensional.
Q: Are there any students you know stuck with architecture after your course?
A: Just this last week, we had my old student, Jacob, visit Provo High to talk to my new students on Career Day. He was a fantastic student, and now he’s a fantastic professional architect.
Q: What skills do you hope students take from your class?
A: I would hope that any kid who took my class might be a better homeowner. When they go to buy a house or repair their home, they’ll feel confident in what they’re doing. It’s a life skill.
For students learning mechanical engineering, I hope that they see the world differently– someone caringly crafted everything around us. Door handles, cars, chairs, you name it. I want them to see the effort that goes into the world we consumers take for granted every day.