7 Projects to Inspire and Educate your Trade School Students
The Internet is awash with ideas for High School welding projects, but it’s trickier to seek out projects that will challenge and inspire your more advanced trade school students. You want projects that will cultivate your student’s creativity while ensuring that they expand their knowledge base and leave your program ready to tackle anything their career may throw at them. If you find yourself running stuck for fresh student projects take a look around your campus and see how your students can use their work to improve the feel and function of the school.
Image Source: Scrappy Bike Project
The good news is that we’ve done a bit of the work for you and compiled a useful, yet practical list of trade school projects. Here are a few ideas that you might consider adding to your curriculum.
Frisbee Golf Basket Welding Project
Every campus needs a Frisbee golf course, including yours. Have your students hone their welding skills while gifting their fellow students with a way to gather together and blow off a little steam. Use 3 foot long steel rods for the basket, bend and cut them into L shapes and weld the longer portion of the L to the center pipe. Students will get to practice cutting, bending, and welding using symmetry. In a world of right angles, working with circles will be a worthwhile challenge.
Mascot Sculpture Welding Project
Have your students create large or small scale sculptures of your schoolâ€™s mascot using hot rolled, 11-guage steel sheets cut into two inch strips and moved in different positions using gas metal arc welding. Teach your students to use their creativity, welding does not have to only be practical, it can also be beautiful. Not only will this hone and expand your studentâ€™s precision welding skills but it will enhance your campus and draw visitorsâ€™ attention to your program.
Bike Rack Welding Project
Bike racks can add beauty and visual interest to your campus, and they make a great classroom project. Consider having your students compete against each other to see who can come up with the most innovative and unique bicycle rack design. Add to the challenge by limiting them to using only scrap metal or parts from old bicycles and allow the student body to vote for their favorite project. Check out what this environmental organization did with their scrappy bike rack competition.
Bike Trailer Welding Project
While we’re on the topic of bikes, consider having your students work on a bicycle trailer for either their personal use or for a campus organization to use during orientation and special events. The trailer is great for carrying school supplies, water bottles, and a variety of other small things that the average college student may find themselves toting around campus.
Using square tubing, angle iron, steel rods and bicycle wheels, stick-weld the trailer together using this tutorial. Finish the trailer floor using whatever material will be best suited for the intended cargo.
Lattice Furniture Welding Project
Have your students practice fabrication and aluminum work by weaving one to two-inch strips of aluminum together to form a unique and attractive tabletop. Use this technique to create decorative end tables, coffee tables or patio furniture, by attaching the latticework to a variety of frames in different shapes and sizes. Once framed and completed these can be used either in your school offices or to spruce up your students bare, thrift store dorm rooms and campus apartments.
Industrial Bookshelves Welding Project
Up cycling is a trend that isn’t going away soon, and it can be a great way for your students to learn to work with different materials using vintage and scrap items. This trend is perhaps best displayed in the industrial-look shelving and rolling carts that can be seen on nearly every home decor website and in every magazine.
Challenge your students to construct a bookcase for the average dorm room or apartment using scrap metal and found materials. Ask them to think about how they can make it lighter, more affordable, adjustable, and portable.
Welding Table Project
Every welder needs a table to work on and your students are no exception. Encourage your students to design a table that they can use in their own home workshop after graduation. Where will they put their vice and store round pipe? Designing a table to fit their own needs will allow them to think ahead to their career and enable their independence after graduation.
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