Through the study and practice of furniture making, we teach high school students to use their hands and minds, to problem solve and to think critically, to design quality work, and to be accountable for their construction projects. We study design, geometry, physics, joinery, mechanics, machinery, hand and machine skills, and logic. Students respond to a challenge.
No one of us knew in high school where we were headed. But the ability to look at problems with a critical eye, to understand how to think through a problem, these are skills that are transferable to any career, any choice, any skill. The purpose of the WIN program is to do this through the vehicle of furniture making. The feedback at the bench is immediate. The results are demonstrable. We help these students build designs of their making and show them how to be responsible for their decisions.
Our WIN program last year was the recipient, along with Mark Azevedo of Sawing for Schools, and Ed Hodney of Albany Parks and Rec, for the 2015 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Award, for outstanding accomplishment and leadership in promoting and protecting our community forests and improving the quality of life in Oregon.
How about that. Pretty cool stuff.