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Despite cutbacks, auto shops play a role in math and science education in California schools #MakerEducation

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Nice article on the current role Auto Shop is playing in STEM Education, particularly in California schools, from EdSource.

Thirty years ago, auto shop was as much a part of California high schools as frog dissection, typing classes and Friday night football.

But due to budget cuts, teacher shortages and a push for more academic course offerings, fewer than half those auto shops remain in California — even though they have the potential to complement hands-on math and science curriculum, education experts say.

Vocational education classes, such as auto shop, can provide training and career options for students less likely to go to college, but also can be useful for students who are on academic tracks, educators said. They provide students with practical skills and can be a helpful way to teach science, technology engineering and math, or STEM.

“Auto shop these days is not the auto shop of the past. Now it’s about engineering, math, computers, physics, problem solving … It really is part of STEM, as it should be,” said Ruben Parra, president of the California Automotive Teachers and an automotive teacher at Skyline College in San Bruno. “And there’s such a need for it. Look out the window — you see more vehicles on the road today, not less. We need the next generation to understand how those vehicles work.”

Read more.


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