For the past two years, students at Topeka High School's CTE (Career Technical Education) have been challenged with making quality furniture at a level greater than you can purchase at a furniture store. Students were first dumbfounded when they were told that they would be making items that would be considered heirlooms and they could have their grandchildren inherit them. Now students understand quality construction, how to safely operate woodworking machines, and proper methods to apply finish so that their project are of higher quality.
This year expectations were raised for all students to construct projects that were of a higher quality than previous years. The Introduction to Technology students made fold out sewing boxes that were constructed with box joints. Many of the advanced students wanted to continue making wooden chests that were either lined with cedar or constructed the entire box of the same wood and then added additional trim to increase the appearance of the project.
Because of financial inability, some students could not afford the cost of making a larger project or didn’t have the room at home to house the project and elected to build a project for someone else. As a result, the students were given a project to build that would allow them to develop skill in producing a project of their own in the future. The projects included cedar chests, shelves, clipboards, smaller wooden boxes, tables, and larger hall trees.
The students did an outstanding job in constructing the projects and displayed them in the high school foyer during school for everyone to view. Those that viewed the projects complimented the students for a job well done and asked when they could be next in line for a project. The CTE instructor for the past two years at Topeka High School has been Mr. Troy Damman.