In a Project Lead the Way class, a group of eighth graders who opened a school based woodworking factory have discovered with their teachers that this class business is for the birds – literally.
At Brownstown Middle School, teacher Tom Wischmeier asked he asked business teacher John Lawson and art teacher Jerry Brown if they would like for their classes to team up for a creative project.
“It’s just the time of year where you are going to get more out of your kids if you can get them up and doing something versus keeping them in a seat for the last week right before (Christmas) break,” Wischmeier said. “We take some of that energy out on a project.”
The school is on a trimester system, and the Christmas break is right in the middle. At the beginning, some eighth graders took Project Lead the Way, and others took Lawson’s personal finance class. After the break, the students will switch classes.
The business of the classes is producing birdhouses. Wischmeier said that the design is simple, and affordable. His students do the design and manufacturing, Lawson’s do the marketing, and Brown’s paint the bird houses and bird feeders.
“I wanted it to be something they could design with the CAD program, Autodesk Inventor, and yet we could also come out here (in the wood workshop),” Wischmeier said. “It just fit the skill set of eighth-grade students both in the wood workshop and in the classroom.”