Shop class: Are old school skills back on the cutting edge?

Shop classes (and especially the term “shop class”) have fallen out of fashion in the last couple of decades. But Mark Martin, an engineer who started iDesign-M, thinks that basic manufacturing skills are still relevant in today’s marketplace. He says they are important for careers in design and engineering, as well as (obviously) the well-paying advanced manufacturing jobs that our president is promoting.

I know San Leandro High still offers a thriving industrial arts program. What about other schools?

Here is a video of the free, two-week iDesign-M program that 15 East Bay high school students attended this month. This is the second year of the program, which is heavily funded with private grants. It’s held at Laney College in Oakland. A story about the program should appear in the paper next week, possibly Monday.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Katy Murphy

    Sorry about the German ad that keeps popping up with my videos. When I see it, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  • Katy Murphy

    Here’s the link to the manufacturing technology story: http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18492947

  • Maria Ku

    Montera’s woodshop class is quite popular. My daughter actually made a point to miss a year of string orchestra to take woodshop in 7th grade next year, because it teaches valuable skills and is a well-loved class.

    Montera has had this class for 30 years or so.

  • concerned parent

    Actually Montera celebrated 50 years of Woodshop in 2009-10. The shop, aided by a recent grant from the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, and the Friends of the Montera Woodshop–community volunteers and parents–continues. For many lean years, Mr. Rice carried the program by cutting trees down for wood and basically giving his life to the program. Thousands of students have benefited from Montera’s Woodshop program. One recounted being the only person in dental school who had ever used a drill….Check out student work on the Friends of Montera Woodshop Facebook page.

  • Luis LL

    How can we get a copy so that we can present the video at locations without WIFI?

  • Katy Murphy

    Well, for the right price…

    But seriously, when I get a moment, I should be able to burn a copy on a DVD or send it to you electronically via DropSend (a link comes to your email inbox). Email me and we can work out the details.