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Teaching welding to highschool kids

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  • Teaching welding to highschool kids

    I've been invited to demonstrate some of my fabrication techniques to a local highschool class. It will be in the evenings and for the kids who are really interested in learning about welding.

    I don't believe I should be the one to teach welding. I don't have much formal education, not even a high school diploma, especially in welding. But what I do bring to the table is an attitude about making things.

    Here's what I'm thinking about for the curriculum. Based upon personal experience I would like to have the kids start off with rectangular frames made from 1/4" by 1" bar stock. The frame should be thirty six by forty two inches. We'll refer to it as a gate frame.

    Then I'll have them make up some bending tools using angle iron and pieces of pipe. That will be followed with them doing their own thing bending pieces of bar stock to fill the gate frame. The pieces of bar stock will be cut too short for them to make straight up and down pickets.

    Attached is a picture of a gate I made for an aunt and uncle. We were visiting and they needed a gate. All I had on the truck was some pieces of bar stock left over from a job. So to fill up the gate I had to bend and weld what I had at hand.

    The gate was still too short. I asked them and their neighbor what I could do to fill in the spot above the gate. "Put a hat on it" the neighbor suggested.

    "A hat?" I asked.

    "Yup", he said. "make a cowboy hat."

    "How would I do that?"

    "I think an eight on its side with an upside down U on top would do it", he said.

    What do you think? Would it work with the kids?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    It looks like a great plan to me

    Is the plan for you to make one gate, or to have all the kids make their
    own gates? If each kid is to make a gate, be prepared for some to say
    that they don't want/need a gate, but do want/need some other thing.
    If the idea is to "get them interested" then giving 'em a bit of leeway
    to pick their own projects really helps -- they already have a vested
    interest in that project.

    The gate looks pretty complex (and neat) -- I assume you've figured out
    whether there's enough time, material, equipment, tools, supplies, and
    all that to do it :-)

    Don't forget safety issues.

    Teaching, even informally, is a lot of fun.

    Let us know how it goes

    Frank

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    • #3
      Fence Gate

      A Saguaro Cactus and a Cowboy Hat, gotta be in Arizona!

      Comment


      • #4
        Camp Verde. I was born in Cottonwood way back in the day. The fact is when I was twelve years old there was two Az Republic newspaper routes in Cottonwood. I had thirty five papers and downtown. A big kid had the rest of the area and I think he had fifty or so papers. That was 1960 or so.

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        • #5
          Camp Verde

          Oh yes, been there a bunch of times. Is BC Welding still in town?

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          • #6
            I'd be interested in sitting in the class.

            If you call it a gate, the kids may be inclined to make it look like a gate that they have seen which is fine, but not that creative.

            An interesting option would be to have the students start on their gate and after a set amount of time, everybody rotates to a different gate so they'd have to work off of what has already been done forcing them to think more outside the box

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            • #7
              Originally posted by STRENGTH AND POWER View Post
              I'd be interested in sitting in the class.

              If you call it a gate, the kids may be inclined to make it look like a gate that they have seen which is fine, but not that creative.

              An interesting option would be to have the students start on their gate and after a set amount of time, everybody rotates to a different gate so they'd have to work off of what has already been done forcing them to think more outside the box

              Thats a good idea. Im a highschool student taking welding and it doesnt sound too complex. If they have no knowledge of how to weld it will take them a little bit more time to figure out how to get things started, so remember patience is the key. But like he said, you should have them switch it up a little bit to force them to think outside of the box, and try different techniques. It looks like a good plan though, good luck with it!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kayla View Post
                Thats a good idea. Im a highschool student taking welding and it doesnt sound too complex. If they have no knowledge of how to weld it will take them a little bit more time to figure out how to get things started, so remember patience is the key. But like he said, you should have them switch it up a little bit to force them to think outside of the box, and try different techniques. It looks like a good plan though, good luck with it!
                Good for you Kayla ... you are going to do well in life...
                Jim

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                • #9
                  Add a piece of Romex the same length as their pickets to let them shape it by hand first and get the feel of what they want before they bend it.

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                  • #10
                    Any kid that bothers to show up in the evenings is willing to learn. I was fortunate to have a 9th grade Industrial Arts teacher that cared about his students. We had a "work night" about twice a month at night. That was the best experience that I had in school. It was optional and I still remember enjoying it 45 years later even though I had to miss "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." once in a while to be there. As a side note, after school was over for that year, we had some unfinished projects that were being made for the teachers. Some of us made arrangements to go up to school and finish those. Times were good.

                    The gate concept is good. It will make them do some thinking and I'll bet that some of the "gates" will be very good.
                    Last edited by Jim-TX; 03-20-2010, 09:17 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Don't call it a 'gate' Instead how about a 'panel'.

                      John M

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                      • #12
                        Maybe you could also let them know that the "panel" could be used as a gate, trellis, wall hanging, headboard, room divider, fireplace screen, table top, etc. Gives a purpose for the project. Sounds like a good class. cat

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                        • #13
                          Hats off to you for taking your time to share some wisdom with the kids. I have taught myself many things over the years, but the stepping stones that started it all came from classes such as these and people willing to share their time and talent. I learned how to oxy-fuel weld in one such class and it wasn't much of a leap many years down the road to teach myself to t.i.g. weld. You may leave an impression on their lives long after the classes are over.

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