Tours held during Crookston School Board meeting.

    Attendees at this week’s Crookston School Board meeting were treated to tours of Crookston High School Industrial Technology classrooms with educators Travis Oliver, Mike Geffre, and Amy Boll. Guests were able to see some of the projects that students are working on and get a better grasp at the areas of learning in that department.

    Oliver, who was hired as a carpentry community expert in 2016, teaches students in Beginning & Advanced Woods classes and Construction Trades. Currently, the Construction Trades students are building a house on Hoven Lane which were part of the in-fill lots purchased by Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) and Northwest Minnesota Housing Cooperative in March 2018. Past CHS construction projects include new homes on Barrette Street with last year’s student-built house at the corner of Barrette and Eickhof Boulevard.

    Inside Oliver’s classroom Monday, he showed guests equipment the students have learned to use, what types of woods they work with all with an emphasis on the need to use “everything” even scrap wood, and boasted about some of the projects they are working on.

    “Besides saw dust, I try to use up everything that I can to stretch our dollar as far as we can and show the kids that not everything is garbage,” Oliver explained referring to scrap wood. “Last year we did a bunch of little bluetooth speaker boxes; it’s pretty much un-damageable and it cost like $6 to make and is usually scrap wood.”

    “We do a lathe unit and the kids make a bowling pin by gluing scraps together,” he continued, talking about student projects. “Everyone’s (bowling pin) last year, not two were the same.”

    Oliver shared with the Times after the tour a project being worked on by students, a multi-dimensional chess board with chess pieces being made individually by one student. Look for a feature on that project in a future Times article.

    Inside the Metals room, Geffre, who teaches classes in Small Engines, Tech 9 CAD, and Metal Fab I and II, talked about students taking apart scrap engines during the first quarter and putting them back together to see if they run. They also do studies on wind power and solar power, including ride-on hover crafts with a leaf blower, 3D printing, welding, and teaching students how to wire house outlets.

    “When we talk (to the kids) about jobs and leaving the country, these jobs don’t go,” Geffre explained. “You can’t send your car to Japan to get fixed, it has to be fixed here.”
    “There’s a lot of in-demand jobs here for them,” he added.

    “There are kids that do projects in Travis’ class and then they bring it here and custom engrave it with a laser in this class,” Geffre continued later referencing the cross-over opportunities in CHS Industrial Tech classes.  

    Rounding out the tour was Boll who teaches classes in Exploring Technology, Principals of Engineering, Beginning CAD, and Graphic Design. In this section, students learn about mechanical drawing instruments, power tools, how to produce Isometric and Orthographic drawings, blueprint reading, and 3D modeling.

    Students in Graphic Design, which include producing items for the Pirates Cove store which coincidentally re-opens during the Junior High Fall Concert on Monday, November 19, learn how to screen print, use the vinyl sign cutter and laser engraver. They create t-shirts for school teams and clubs, and signs for the community.

    Pirates Cove students recently made the school paraprofessionals custom shirts which they wore to Monday’s meeting.

    “We try to sell them (shirts) relatively inexpensive because the kids make them and we want to get it out into the community to show school spirit,” Boll explained. “We do profit some money in our class that we do and we use the money to help furbish things like machines, all driven by the kids.”

    “Anyone in the community can contact me and we’ve done that (projects) many times for people,” she added.

    “The Snow Sled Inn has a sign made by us,” Boll continued when talking about vinyl cutting.