Preparing Boys for Life

Woodworking students hone design skills from home

Woodworking teachers Greg Ressler, Jill Sides, and Mark Thorburn have a unique opportunity in adapting their classes to Virtual Haverford. Their distance learning curriculum focuses on a key component of woodworking: design.

“We are all missing the hands-on part, but the Woodworking 1 class is taking advantage of this time to become well-versed in Adobe Illustrator, a design program that can connect to the shop’s laser cutter when we’re back on campus,” said Sides. All Upper School students have Adobe Creative Suite on their own devices, or those loaned to them by the School, allowing work to go on at home.

The students have used Adobe Illustrator to design two sets of four coasters. They’ve also started designing furniture pieces, and will prototype their designs using cardboard.

The in-depth instruction students are getting on Illustrator allows the boys to understand how to use the program in a more advanced way, resulting in more creative and innovative designs with the laser cutter. 

“Teaching laser cutting and design are big parts of the curriculum,” said Sides. “With this time, we are taking the opportunity to really push the student designs for when we can get back to the classroom.”