There’s More to MarinSEL Engineering Than Meets the Eye

MarinSEL Engineering Spoon Project“This class is my favorite because there’s lots of hands-on projects.” Said one of the eighth grade shadows when asked which MarinSEL class he had liked visiting the best. As the eighth graders entered the engineering workshop last Monday and had the opportunity to observe a class period of us working on our wooden spoon project, their eyes were lit up with excitement. The same eighth grade shadow later exclaimed, “I am definitely going to apply to MSEL.”

I have to admit, when I heard that junior year would bring the addition of an MarinSEL engineering class, I was slightly doubtful and slightly nervous. I’d had next to no experience working with tools or building, let’s just say it’s never been one of my strong suits. A career involving anything to do with engineering was out of the question for me, so I didn’t exactly see the point of taking an engineering class.

However, over the past few weeks I’ve realized that engineering will prove to be a valuable experience for everyone in the class, regardless of whether or not they plan to pursue a career related to engineering. Hands-on projects are only part of it; we are also learning important skills like thinking outside of the box, finding creative solutions, and dealing with the unexpected problems that may arise in a project; even life for that matter. Think about it, if you learn to solve little problems and figure out what works to fix them, then take the concept of how it was fixed and apply it to your life, you have a way to problem solve!

For example, when I was using the bandsaw for the first time, I was still learning how to maneuver the wood to cut the curves correctly so off came a side of the guitar shape. Now, I could’ve freaked out “OH MY GOSH! It’s the end of the world! I cut my spoon wrong! Now I have to restart and it will take too long and I will get a bad grade and fail the class.” But, that’s not what I did. I took it over to the various sanding machines and reshaped it; it came out a little thinner than what I had expected, but it’s all about adaptation and being flexible, which is the lesson I took away from that. So you see, engineering class goes deeper than cutting wood or chiseling a spoon, it teaches us skills that will be invaluable tools in preparing ourselves for experiences later in life.

As our spoon project is coming to a close, we look forward to our next project: chicken coops. We already have a field trip scheduled for October to collect materials, so our semester-long project will be starting soon, and the rest of the year will certainly reveal many more exciting projects that we are all looking forward to experiencing.

by Dahlya Habashi and Amber Lane-Bortell


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22 Responses

  1. monicaz says:

    good view from the shadows. i appreciate how you added in your person experience with your spoon and how you improvised to make it work

  2. mias says:

    Congratulations on learning how to use the tools!

  3. mias says:

    Good for you! Congratulations on learning how to use the tools!

  4. brendav says:

    Learning to use all the machines are so cool!

  5. emilyi emilyi says:

    I loved how you got the shadow’s opinions. Also I really liked how both of your spoons turned out!

  6. nicm says:

    Great job on the blog! I’m glad you learned to use all those tools, they will surely help throughout this year.

  7. jonathanw says:

    loved reading this blog. great job!

  8. angelicap angelicap says:

    I am really excited that we get to take this class too!

  9. Patrick Shami Patrick Shami says:

    so cool that you learned to use the bandsaw!!!!

  10. khanht khanht says:

    Great job on the blog guys! I can’t wait to work on the chicken coops.

  11. anapaulav anapaulav says:

    it was beautiful how you wrote about adapting and being flexible to change and mistakes. so true and applies to life in every aspect.

  12. taylors taylors says:

    That’s what I love about the class too, all the hands on projects.

  13. Miguel F. miguelf says:

    So I really enjoyed reading this blog. You described everything so well.

  14. audreyb says:

    Good job explaining the class. A+

  15. tarenb says:

    wow I love it. The spoons were fun I’m also excited for the chicken coups.

  16. angeliquea says:

    My bebas 🙂 we really are family

  17. heslerd says:

    Great job describing how you felt before taking this class!! Can’t wait what’s next.

  18. juliettas says:

    This is really true! I’m glad you talked about the real-life skills we learn in this class whether we will do this later in life or not.

  19. avaa says:

    Beautifully written and wonderful idea!! Love it!

  20. selenak says:

    I was nervous to be in engineering too! But it’s now one of my favorite classes:)

  21. inesg inesg says:

    So excited for the next project! I really enjoyed making my spoon 🙂

  22. Oropallo Oropallo says:

    Love it! Great job. Just think, there is so much more to the year 😉

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