The Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology department at Millersville is collaborating with Maplewoodshop over the next five years to help Millersville students incorporate woodworking into their future grade school classrooms.
The collaboration comes in the form of a donated program which includes curriculum, training, support, and a portable tool chest that enables students in grades 3-8 to learn about woodworking in any classroom. Starting this fall and continuing for five years, Maplewoodshop is providing MU with lesson plans on how to implement woodworking in grade school classrooms as well as providing training to MU students who will run workshops focused on introducing woodworking to kids. The curriculum provided will help MU students studying to become STEM teachers.
Mike Schloff, founder of Maplewoodshop, says the idea for the company came to him when he ran a table that focused on woodworking for younger kids at a Maker Faire. He saw how much children were infatuated with the concept, so he focused on how he could bring his set of skills into the classroom. He later invented the portable workbench and a training program for teachers who could then bring woodworking into their classrooms.
Schloff says, “All children develop skills differently. I for one am a kinetic learner, meaning I gather information best when the lessons are hands-on.” The Maplewoodshop program is geared towards other kinetic learners like him. By giving students experience in woodworking early on, Schloff and his company are also giving them exposure to types of careers that they may not have previously considered.
The Maplewoodshop program will be used at the University’s technology and engineering summer camps geared towards children. The camp brings kids to Millersville to learn more about the programs offered here. The woodworking curriculum and tools will be used in courses for integrative STEM education methods students. For example, one class involves working with local children to promote STEM learning. Millersville students will have the opportunity to integrate the tools and materials donated into their field experiences for that course.
The agreement allows Technology & Engineering Education and Integrative STEM Education Methods students to participate in two workshops per year to learn strategies for engaging young learners in woodworking by participating in hands-on instruction themselves. Millersville’s TECE program has access to Maplewoodshop’s extensive online and digital learning resources. The lesson plans given to technology and engineering education majors will be built around math.
Millersville students will provide Schloff and his team feedback on his lesson plans and strategies. Some may have the opportunity to work with the company later on. They could either teach the concepts that Maplewoodshop has developed at community events or come up with their own. Maplewoodshop’s program is structured so that even Millersville’s STEM students who have little experience in woodworking can learn the skills they need to bring the toolkits into classrooms. In the future, the University will further implement the company’s lesson plans into engineering courses and summer camps held here.
For more information on Maplewoodshop, visit maplewoodshop.com.
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