Hands-On Learning Continues in Virtual Classrooms

Cassidy Steenbock, Career Technical Education (CTE) instructor at Hemet High School, found a creative way to engage students enrolled in Introduction to Agricultural Mechanics with a hands-on Bird Feeder construction project administered in partnership with The Home Depot of Hemet. 


The entire assignment was executed at no-cost to students, thanks to the support of The Home Depot of Hemet who generously donated many of the supplies necessary to complete the project. To ensure student safety, Steenbock utilized classroom equipment to cut and prepare the materials before coordinating student pick-up of supplies. 


“Teachers at Hemet Unified continue to be proactive about seeking creative solutions to enrich the online learning experience for students and families,” said Superintendent Dr. Christi Barrett. “It’s projects like these that demonstrate the resolve of our instructional team to put students first.”


The Bird Feeder project was just one project in a series of innovative assignments created to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students. Steenhbock hopes to create even more hands-on learning activities as a way to support online instruction. The success of these projects has been highlighted by the enthusiastic support of students and parents.


“Students have made it very clear that they enjoy the change of pace this class offers and appreciate the deviation from taking notes, completing online activities, and watching videos.” Steenbock said. 


Throughout the country, instructors have been challenged to continue providing hands-on 

project-based learning activities, a pillar of Career Technical Education programs like Introduction to Agricultural Mechanics.


Introduction to Agricultural Mechanics is a yearlong class that provides foundational skills in agriculture construction and engineering. Students enrolled in this class learn in-demand skills, including carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing, as well as gas-cutting, and welding. Upon successful completion of the course, students are encouraged to continue their learning by enrolling in Agricultural Mechanics 2 as a part of the Hemet High School Agriculture Mechanics and Technology Career Pathway. 


Hemet Unified School District offers career technical education courses in several key industry sectors. Through these courses, students have the opportunity to complete career pathways that build a pipeline of workers to support regional workforce needs. As such, the programs rely on strategic business and community partnerships to advise curriculum, create work-based learning opportunities, and aid in job placements. As Hemet Unified School District continues to prioritize college and career readiness, CTE classes prove to be a win-win for students and the community.

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