People often gnash their teeth over the lack of hands-on classes for kids these days. But you’ll be happy to know that some schools do offer extensive programs. You may have called these programs Shop Class, Industrial Arts or Technology Education. Today they’re called STEM: Science, technology, engineering, mathematics. You may also hear STEAM: Science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics.
STEM is about a lot more than learning to use a table saw, as you’ll hear from Will and Cora. There can be 3D printing, plasma cutting, CNC, etc., in addition to learning to use traditional woodworking and metalworking tools.
As you work to get kids excited about being in your shop with you, keep that approach in mind. As an example, they could help you with project design by using free software like SketchUp, giving them a fun experience with the tech side of woodworking.
If you’re looking for woodworking for teens, you should download WWGOA’s three kid-friendly projects. They were developed for us by a tech-ed teacher, and will provide you with a great jumping-off point to get kids going in your shop.
Another fun and very simple project for you to get kiddos going on is our marshmallow catapult. It’s a very simple project that uses commonly available material, and can be built in no time.