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Help! Teach 13 Year olds? - Reply


I have not taught that age myself, but I do remember well my eight
grade shop teacher having us make a “belt buckle ring” out of
nickle silver. If you picture the silhouette of your belt, the
ring was made like that, and the end of it slipped through the
buckle end. There were holes in the belt end to match what’s on
your leather belt. After that my memory fails me. I think we used
the drill press to make the holes on the end and to get a starter
hole for making the square hole in the buckle. I think there was
some way we make a tongue for the buckle to slip through a hole in
the belt as you would buckle your own belt. I do remember using
the buffing machine to shine it up. I was 12 at the time, others
in the class would have been 13, so it’s possible. It would
involve filing and drilling and polishing at the least.

The other idea I have is to give them a blank band and have them
hammer and file and stamp it with designs. They could even make
their own tools although they might need some help with the
tempering and hardening. There are copper plumbing collars which
could serve as blanks.

I went to a special engineering high school, and I can remember as
a freshman making a center punch on a lathe which we then hardened
and tempered. And the center punch was to nest in the handle of a
metal hammer which went with it! We were exceptional students
admitted by exam, but I think lots is possible with motivated
students of that age. Also, as you know from teaching adults, most
people are thrilled wth even a little fabricating that they are
able to do at first. If you get something going, I would be
interested in hearing how it works out, as my children attend a
unique Montessori based middle school that would love it if I
taught some lapidary or metalwork next year.

Roy (Jess)