Our woodwork program is designed to challenge and empower students to learn new skills, create practical items, and engage their will to follow a project from start to finish. Our school’s green woodworking program is one of the first in this country.
Each project begins with a freshly cut log, which is split using an axe and mallet into smaller pieces, and slowly the form begins to emerge. Working with the natural features of the wood, a dialogue takes place between student and nature.
Each project is designed to be integrated into the curriculum. For instance, in 6th grade one of the highlights of the year is the medieval history block, which culminates in the regional Medieval Games with various athletic contests, including archery. In woodwork, the year is devoted to working in both leather and wood: making wooden archery bows and arrows, and leather quivers in preparation for the games. In 7th grade, the science block addresses leverage, mechanical advantage and simple machines, and in woodwork we work with splitting wedges, and a simple human powered lathe which embodies all the aspects of leverage, mechanical advantage and pulleys. From log to finished item, our woodworking program is an integral component of our strong middle school program, and allows students to further the grasp of the material they are experiencing in their main lesson blocks.