ELIZABETH, Colo. (KDVR) — Over the years, shop classes in high schools have slowly but surely been eliminated from the curriculum. Elizabeth High School, however, recently started up a shop class program.
They say they created it for all the right reasons.
It used to be called industrial arts, then shop class, then nothing at all.
“I think it went away in the early ’90s, when the tech boom technology came in. It was the new thing. There was huge earnings, and the pendulum of education kind of swung that way,” said Derek Spohn, Elizabeth High School shop instructor.
And as much fun as a four-year degree in art appreciation may be, post-graduation employment will be a challenge, Spohn said. That is why he is tickled pink that Elizabeth High School is now offering shop classes to its student body.
“They are actively working with their hands, so they are going to learn a skill that is going to feed them potentially for the rest of their life,” Spohn said.
“The kids want it. The number shows 170 kids on the auto program out of 700. The kids love it,” said Bret McClendon, Elizabeth High School principal.
Students in Spohn’s shop classes can now learn metal fabrication, auto repair and welding.
For the time being and weather permitting, most of the hands-on learning is done outside next to the classrooms, but a brand new complex of three buildings is slated for construction and completion by this fall.
Students will learn skills, Spohn said, that will surely lead them to a brighter and more lucrative future.