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AGC EF awards grant to college-prep high school shop class

Bishop Blanchet High School receives funding  for two new bandsaws and sander

The AGC Education Foundation was fortunate to fund a grant for Bishop Blanchet High School’s Woodshop Program for the 2015-2016 school year. The funding was granted for two bandsaws and a Jet Drum Sander, all of which have helped to improve the functionality and efficiency of the program for all students involved.

Bishop Blanchet is a Catholic high school located in the heart of North Seattle. Woodshop programs are rare in private, college-prep environments, but the school houses a bustling shop facility, running up to five classes each school year and building sets for the drama department’s productions. Bishop Blanchet recognizes the importance of hands-on learning, and under the leadership of  instructor Corey Eriksen, the program has evolved over the past eight years. It now includes introductory and intermediate class levels, allowing students to engage in long-term, independent woodworking projects. The introductory class includes a popular wooden toy building project, and the finished products are given to families in need during the holiday season.

One of Eriksen’s teaching goals is to help students gain an appreciation for the tools they use, so the purchases tie directly back to this philosophy. Additionally, he notes that the tools have drastically improved productivity. To put the impact of this funding in perspective, he has historically had to cut one-third of the student projects per semester, and believes that student productivity will be so improved that going forward they will be able to accomplish every project. “Not only does this enhance their learning experience overall,” he said, “but it makes their daily time spent in class more engaging, fun and useful.”

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