Chippewa Falls Middle School students get creative with projects

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Technical education classes are usually very hands-on, but with schools closed due to COVID-19, students have switched to online learning.

"When they first asked us to teach from home we thought, this will be interesting," says Chippewa Falls Middle School Teacher Maranda Degenhardt. "So obviously tech ed is a very hands on based class and we were only seven days into our trimester and we had to start teaching from home."

Which left Degenhardt, little time to introduce the class to her students.

"Normally we would have been welding or woodworking and you can't really expect a student to do that from home so they had been watching a lot of different videos,” she says.

So she told her students to find projects they could do at home.

"I asked them to take a picture before, then working and then after and send me those pictures,” Degenhardt says. “So I posted those and I got a lot of really good responses."

And while they can't be in the classroom, Degenhardt says students are getting even more creative learning from home.

"We've had them fixing up picnic tables and building desks for them to work at and do their school work which is really cool,” she says. "Some students have been working on their parent's vehicles so they learned how to change the light bulb in their tail lights and things like that."

She says other departments are also getting their students involved.

"For art they are having their kids do natural projects, so they go out and find sticks, leaves and stuff like that and they are making bugs,” she says. "Family and consumer science, they are having their students make meals and do things like that."

Degenhardt says when schools do reopen, teachers will be able transition their new methods of learning back into the classroom.

"It is really cool to see they have these abilities so I am like, alright we can skip over some of the stuff because you guys know how to do it and we can start doing things for home."