AWFS seminar track targeted to educators

The Teacher Track, a series of seminars designed specifically for educators, will be featured in the College of Woodworking Knowledge at the July 23-27 AWFS fair in Las Vegas.

Four sessions will be offered in the Teacher Track starting Thursday, July 25 and finishing on Saturday, July 27.

On Thursday, "Manufacturing Applications for the Classroom" is a panel presentation that includes an overview of CNC and laser technology and how some schools are funding their programs with products made, given by John Martincic of Forest Scientific, and information on contemporary hardware trends and installation given by Brian Joyce of Blum Inc. Also presenting is a product design and development instructor who will talk about his project-based, industry driven experiential learning approach. A DVD of curriculum projects will be distributed to attendees.

On Friday, "Unblocking Creativity: Design for the Classroom" will be presented by high school teacher Peter Boeckh of Ontario, Canada, and post-secondary teacher Kip Christensen of Brigham Young University. Together they offer simple techniques for teaching design that have proven successful even for students without previous backgrounds or who may struggle to think outside the box.

Also running on Friday is "Benefitting from Industry-Education Partnerships," which looks at mutually rewarding alliances from both sides and the aligning of the new wood industry Manufacturing Skill Standards with education curriculum. The panel includes John Dunn of the California Department of Education; Eric Gearhart of Skills USA; Kent Gilchrist of Fremont Interiors; Patrick Molzahn of Madison Area Technical College; and Scott Nelson of the Woodwork Career Alliance. Educators as well as industry representatives are encouraged to attend and gain ideas for successful partnerships.

On Saturday, Don Dupont, president of the California Industrial Technology Education Association, a veteran high school teacher and former woodworking business owner presents his analysis of what constitutes a safe shop environment. Dupont will share the safety practices he has developed through the years to create a comprehensive safety program. Although developed and geared toward the small shop teaching environment, the seminar information is applicable for woodshop teachers at any academic level as well as owners of commercial shops of any size.

AWFS offers complimentary access to the show floor for all teachers with a valid teaching ID. Teacher Track seminars are offered at $25 each. Schools with an AWFS Educational Institution Membership receive additional seminar discounts. For full information on teacher and student registration (students must be 16 years or older to be admitted to the show floor), visit www.awfsfair.org.

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