For individuals of a certain age, memories of high school Woodshop are vivid. Woodshop was a “rite of passage” for many students (mostly male) providing a break from “writing, reading, & arithmetic” studies. During the 90s and early 2000s, Woodshop fell out of favor in many high schools, including Center. 

The pendulum has started swinging back to the middle as more recognition is given to the value of trades education for all students. The skills of hard work, safety, and creating a tangible product out of pieces of wood have found greater favor in a world that realizes that the trades are not just a career a person “settles for” if there are no other options, but a career with many different opportunities. 

Working together on a long board

In the fall of 2021, Center High School restarted Woodshop as the first element of a new Skilled Trades Pathway in our Real World Learning program. In the first two years, we have over 200 students (both boys and girls) who have learned skills, completed projects, been on field trips, and are doing work for internal and external clients. 

Examples of projects completed or in progress for clients include awards for various sports and activities at Center High School, a new "green screen" and sound recording booth for the CHS Broadcast Journalism program (see photo above), and a community table and furniture for Crows Coffee at Red Bridge Shopping Center. 

We are pleased to announce that, less than two years after the restart, the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is presenting an award for Educational Impact to the Skilled Trades program and teacher Alec Chambers.  The award will be presented at the Chamber's annual dinner on February 16th at the Armacost Auto Museum. 

Congratulations to Mr. Chambers and his students for creating a model program!