Tuesday, March 18, 2014

High School Elective: Drafting Fundamentals




Over the last ten years, I have taught a Drafting class at our homeschool co-op classes. The first time I taught the class I found a book on Ebay, Exploring Drafting, fundamentals of technology by John R Walker (I have an older version). I didn't know anything about the book other than the title chapters covered what I wanted to teach and it was aimed at high school students.

I have since used the book to teach the class several more times and the book has been my guide every time. I also use information from a book from my college drafting class, Architectural Drafting and Design by Ernest R Weidhaas.

Both books cover more information than I can teach in a one hour per week/ten week course, but the students do get a good introduction and overview of drafting, mechanical and architectural.

Many people wonder why I bother to teach an 'old-fashioned' drafting class with t-squares, triangles, and other tools of the trade. Do I not know that there are computer aided drafting programs? Yes, I know that.

However, expecting a student to be able to properly use a CAD program without knowing the fundamentals of drafting is like expecting a child to use a word processor without knowing how to spell or construct a sentence. You must have basic understanding to progress into the computer programs.

Drafting is a skill that offers many career opportunities. It is the perfect elective for students to explore while in high school.

Exploring Drafting by John R Walker is available on Amazon. I believe that a student could use this book to learn the fundamentals of drafting by reading it and working the exercises provided. A teacher would not have to know the information in this book, they could read and learn along with the student.

Some basic tools are required for this course:
Triangles- 45/90 degree and 30/60 degree
Pencils- 4H and H leads
Printer paper (blank paper)

You might find a drafting kit with many of the required tools that will save you money.  You will need to add a T-Square and drawing board to most kits.

Other tools are mentioned in the book, but the ones listed above will be enough to do the exercises in the book.

Depending on how you use the book, you could give your student one full credit or ½ credit in Drafting Fundamentals. If the student enjoys the course, you might move on to a CAD class.
   
For my ten week class, I cover the information in Chapters 3-12, and Chapter 23. We move quickly and I expect a lot from my students, but they progress from not knowing anything about drafting to producing some very impressive work including a final design project.


Consider adding Drafting Fundamentals to your student's high school curriculum.  He/she may find an affinity for a skill they didn't know existed.

**This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you choose to purchase something from the link I will get a small commission, but  you do not pay any extra.


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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years
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