As high schools struggle to meet demand for increased classes in math and science, some are doing away with shop classes to make room for STEM subjects.
There is a loss of interest at Avon High School in the Cleveland area. “We weren’t necessarily linking students to careers,” said Principal Kristina Dobos Buller about their technology education and wood courses, collectively referred to as industrial arts or shop classes. “We ended up with courses that became hobbies.”
Lessons for employable skills, such as construction, are still available as Industrial Arts. Next year’s class will be smaller and more selective.
Buller arrived as a newcomer to the USA, and teaches at Avon High School. This semester, a previously retired teacher is returning to Avon. Mike Ryan will be teaching five sections of industrial arts courses to 85 students.
But enrollment for traditional vocational technical classes has fallen,m as students pursue careers related to technology. The decline has been steady over the past 20 years.