Thursday, August 07, 2014


We are moving the Clear Spring Wood shop into a smaller space on the main Clear Spring School campus which will put the program exactly at the center of school activities. For the past few years, the wood shop has been in our old high school building and that required students to be transported to and from wood shop by van. Being at the exact center of school life will help woodworking to be more integral to all learning, ease transportation problems and help in the exchange of ideas for curriculum correlation at all grade levels.

The move of the wood shop to a smaller space will be only temporary, as we are planning the construction of a new hands-on learning center. The HOC is a new concept and will offer a new model for schooling in which each student's learning will be active rather than passive, and expressed by doing real things and performance measured by real outcomes rather than by artificial constructs like testing.

We know that what we learn hands-on is learned more thoroughly and to greatest lasting effect. All learning that is of any importance should be hands-on. All other forms of learning are wasteful of the child's time and natural curiosity.

So, what is a "hands-on learning center?" It is a building filled with activity centers including a wood shop, book arts center, chemistry laboratory, performance space, centers for the arts, and more. We will be starting a capital campaign to raise money for it, and my readers will be invited to participate in its creation.

The photo above is from last week's class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking. In it, I am demonstrating the routing of hinge mortises using my flipping story stick technique. When doing intricate operations like this, I move to the workbench so that it can be viewed closeup on a video camera and viewed by my students closeup through a  television screen.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Doug,

    I like the Hands On Learning Center concept more than the currently popular FAB LAB label. Any chance to see the floor plans of the HOC? Best wishes on the capital campaign.

    Scott Kutz

  2. Good for the school, and the kids!