Students gain valuable real world experience

Students in the electricity 1 classes in Seymour gained real world experience as they learned to build their own house, which they constructed in the classroom. – Photos by Sara Tischauser

By Sara Tischauser

Gaining hands-on experience and learning skills to use in the future is exactly what some Seymour students are doing in their electricity 1 class.
Jody Schneider, Seymour technical education teacher, is helping students gain hands-on learning in his classroom
In the electricity 1 class, Schneider said he let the students help decide the direction of the class. Schneider said he had asked the students if they wanted him to build something for them to wire or if the class wanted to build their own house and then do the wiring for that house.
He said by a majority rule the class decided they wanted to build their own house, so both the first and third hour electricity 1 classes built their own houses inside the classroom.
Students began their work by drawing blueprints for the house before construction could begin.
Schneider said they were very fortunate to have many supporters in the community. He said Seymour Lumber was instrumental not only with helping with the electricity 1 class but with the entire technology education department.
“Seymour Lumber helped middle school technology education program as well,” said Angie Arneson, Seymour Middle School technology education teacher. “It’s just been a huge asset to have Seymour Lumber in our community. What they [Seymour Lumber] are doing for our school and district is very valuable and we appreciate it.”
Schneider said he has had support from many in the community. When Seymour Lumber has their annual golf outing proceeds were donated to the technology education department and many local businesses and individuals donated at that time. Also, as his electricity 1 classes have worked on building their houses, members of the community have stepped up to help with that.
“When we get to each trade part, I ask local experts to come in,” Schneider said. “They donate their time.”
Students have learned to build a house from the ground up as they had to do the floor, framing, walls, doors, windows, plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical. However, Schneider said with the limitations of being in the classroom they weren’t able to put on regular roof.
Schneider brings his own experience to his students as he was a mastered licensed electrical contractor for more than 20 years. With that experience, Schneider is able to teach students what it is like in the “real world.”
Last year, Schneider had volunteered with the technology education program before becoming a teacher this school year. As a volunteer he helped connect some of the students with employers to find jobs.