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Engineering Club at Cottage Grove Middle School

Cottage Grove Middle School has a new after school club: The Engineering Club. Over the last four weeks, students have been meeting each Tuesday afternoon to build woodworking projects by hand. Some of these projects include a toolbox or flower planter, and a capstone bird house project

“I think it’s important that these students learn how to build things with their hands. I provide them with the blueprints, which includes the project’s dimensions and measurements, and they take it from there,” said Dan Hines, advisory for the Engineering Club. “This is also a great trial and error opportunity. When something doesn’t work out, they need to improvise.” 

Every three weeks, a new project is assigned. Students can build the project from the instructions provided, or they can choose something a little more in-depth. Students use minimal tools, including tape measures, scroll saws, impact drivers/drills and sand paper. 

“I really like how hands on this is. Most classes you sit in a desk and listen to the teacher. But in this club, you get instructions and then you’re free to work and learn how you want,” said Gavin, an eighth-grade student at CGMS.

“Many of them are performing applied physics and trigonometry, and they aren’t even aware of it. It is great to see them working, both together and independently, to solve problems they may encounter,” continued Hines.

This woodworking course is one of several courses, or mini-series, throughout the rest of the school year. Future mini-series include working with aerospace, electronics, building structures and machines.