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Old 12-16-2023, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,796 posts, read 24,297,543 times
Reputation: 32935

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
I have moved around the country quite a bit. Have yet to run into one that wasn't dismal.

As a immigrant to this country, my parents were focused on given me a good education. Totally lacking one themselves, that was difficult except for the willingness to accept financial hardship for themselves to help the kids.

We need to give kids the opportunity to shine, no matter their parents ideas. But I bet you there would be little parental kickback to high quality "trades" programs in the public schools.

I did have high hopes of living in Montana, when my daughter was born. Maybe Montana, the Dakota's or southern Idaho would have been different.

Yes, parents are a problem. As a forester, the public was always a "problem".

BUT as a public servant, I always told them when they were wrong!!!

One thing that has happened is that public employees are now afraid of leading. That will need to change in the future.

Need elected officials with the courage to make that happen.
In my school's service area, you'd be dead wrong.

Why does it matter what you think more than what a child's parent thinks?
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,796 posts, read 24,297,543 times
Reputation: 32935
Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
Almost all of them, after the first year.

When the kid fixes the plumbing on their own, the parents will come along.
LOL. Your experience, not mine.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:50 PM
 
14,400 posts, read 14,298,103 times
Reputation: 45727
Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
I agree with bringing back the trade skills to high school.

BUT all students including STEM and English majors need one complete year of "shop" where they build a tiny house. Forget building little shelves for putting up knick-knacks.

Starting from how to pour concrete, frame a structure, trusses, electrical, plumbing, and roofing. In most jurisdictions a 10x20 structure can be built without a permit. The tiny homes, can be converted into homeless housing at the end of the school year.

The smartest Civil Engineer I knew could design a road. But more importantly, he knew how to run CAT dozer and could actually build that road by himself!!

Those are the type of STEM graduates we need.
Its not clear to me why "those are the type of STEM graduates we need".

The skills involved in preparing engineering drawings and solving complex equations are not the same skills as the ones necessary to drive a bulldozer. In fact, they are quite different.

The only thing I can imagine that these two things have in common is that both skills require some intelligence. However, a person does not have to have the intellectual ability necessary to solve complex equations to operate a bulldozer. More people can be taught that skill and it can be done much more quickly.

I believe the economy actually works better when you have people specialized in one area devoting their time and energy to that area while others do other things. Adam Smith said as much in his classic work The Wealth of Nations.

Years ago, I talked to a home builder in my area. He complained there was no money it because there were too many people trying to make a living building homes. He actually left the field to go to nursing school. We may suffer from a shortage of homes. We do not suffer from a shortage of people who can build homes.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:54 PM
 
28,666 posts, read 18,779,066 times
Reputation: 30944
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Years ago, I talked to a home builder in my area. He complained there was no money it because there were too many people trying to make a living building homes. He actually left the field to go to nursing school. We may suffer from a shortage of homes. We do not suffer from a shortage of people who can build homes.
When a "home builder" talks about "too many people trying to make a living building homes," he's probably talking about there being too many home-building businesses. That doesn't particularly equate to less need for the people who do the work of building homes (such as operating earth-moving machines).

Last edited by Ralph_Kirk; 12-16-2023 at 02:06 PM..
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Old 12-16-2023, 01:43 PM
509
 
6,321 posts, read 7,042,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Its not clear to me why "those are the type of STEM graduates we need".
The skills involved in preparing engineering drawings and solving complex equations are not the same skills as the ones necessary to drive a bulldozer. In fact, they are quite different.

The only thing I can imagine that these two things have in common is that both skills require some intelligence. However, a person does not have to have the intellectual ability necessary to solve complex equations to operate a bulldozer. More people can be taught that skill and it can be done much more quickly.


They are. We are not talking about skills on the job, we are talking about education.

My point, is that a civil engineer that can operate a bulldozer will probably be a much better civil engineer. Maybe every civil engineering school should have a "fun" class where Civil Engineers learn to operate a bull dozer.

The other important point, is that particularly with boys they like building and doing things instead of sitting quietly in the corner. School is the best time for them to learn those skill sets, rather than on the job.

I believe the economy actually works better when you have people specialized in one area devoting their time and energy to that area while others do other things. Adam Smith said as much in his classic work The Wealth of Nations.


Yep, even had enough economics classes that I worked as one for the Federal government for four years.
No argument there, but again we are talking a broad and comprehensive education not necessarily doing those skills on the job.

I took two programming classes in college.

I was a very bad programmer. Not my skill set. However, those two classes gave me a competitive advantage because I could understand and work with programmers including knowing what would work and not work from a project perspective. The only way I could learn that was to try and learn programming.

In some ways, that is the problem with our education system. I didn't do well in programming class, but what I learned was priceless in my career. It made it much easier and smoother to run large complex projects.

So it is with the Civil Engineer and bulldozer operator.
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Old 12-16-2023, 02:09 PM
 
12,846 posts, read 9,045,657 times
Reputation: 34914
Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
I barely graduated from high school, but was interested in astronomy. Parents were poor, if I wanted a telescope I had to make it on my own.

So I did from grinding, polishing the mirror, and building the mount by myself. It changed my life, I felt like I could do anything after that. Kids that use to work on auto's developed the same life skills.

We just had a school board election and one of the conservative folks running had an idea. EVERY student should have at least ONE class every day where they MADE something. Unfortunately, he lost by 14 votes.

I think a shop class where high school students BUILD a SMALL HOUSE over the school year would do wonders not only for STEM majors but other students as well.
That was awesome you could do that. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all kids had that opportunity?

Even though I have degrees in physics and systems engineering and spent a career in RDT&E, I count the two most important classes from high school as shop and typing. Both of those gave me skills I used throughout my career and daily life. Can't say the same about most other classes.
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Old 12-16-2023, 02:19 PM
 
12,846 posts, read 9,045,657 times
Reputation: 34914
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Its not clear to me why "those are the type of STEM graduates we need".

The skills involved in preparing engineering drawings and solving complex equations are not the same skills as the ones necessary to drive a bulldozer. In fact, they are quite different.

The only thing I can imagine that these two things have in common is that both skills require some intelligence. However, a person does not have to have the intellectual ability necessary to solve complex equations to operate a bulldozer. More people can be taught that skill and it can be done much more quickly.

I believe the economy actually works better when you have people specialized in one area devoting their time and energy to that area while others do other things. Adam Smith said as much in his classic work The Wealth of Nations.

Years ago, I talked to a home builder in my area. He complained there was no money it because there were too many people trying to make a living building homes. He actually left the field to go to nursing school. We may suffer from a shortage of homes. We do not suffer from a shortage of people who can build homes.
It makes you a better engineer because you know what the person on the receiving end of those drawings (or whatever you happen to be working on) is actually doing on the shop floor or in the field. After having moved several times in my career and having helped a lot of others move, I believe that most architectural students would be much better off if, instead of a year in Italy or France studying "great architecture," they spent that year working as a furniture mover actually trying to fit furniture around some of the corners, stairs, and hallways they design, and actually building what they design.
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Old 12-16-2023, 02:54 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
34,705 posts, read 58,031,425 times
Reputation: 46172
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
It makes you a better engineer because you know what the person on the receiving end...is actually doing on the shop floor or in the field. ... I believe that most architectural students would be much better off if, instead of a year in Italy or France studying "great architecture," they spent that year working as a furniture mover actually trying to fit furniture around some of the corners, stairs, and hallways they design, and actually building what they design.
or... civil / highway engineers driving a transit bus or semi truck for a few yrs (nice job during college!, can work nights and weekends)

Practical experience is pretty instrumental benefit to hiring internationally trained engineers (who often come from 2 yrs in the trades).

It's just another beneficial tool in their toolbox.

but nothing you will convince the 'desk sitter' professional (?) educator on C-D education forum (?) soapbox.

If it's anything unusual, unique, or non commodity... It CAN'T be done.

Remember that

I know... tough to swallow for those who've been expected and required to "do-the-Impossible' every day of their career.
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Old 12-16-2023, 11:02 PM
 
846 posts, read 553,469 times
Reputation: 487
American companies not only depend on IT workers from Asia (esp. India), but also have Indian CEOs (Google, Microsoft, IBM, Fedex, Starbucks…).

If you can produce neither workers nor leaders, what do the schools do?

Politicians can’t be imported, for sure. But you see Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy…
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Old 12-17-2023, 02:38 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,560 posts, read 28,652,113 times
Reputation: 25153
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Are you suggesting I don't agree with that?
I’m not sure whether the schools and educational system in this country have accepted the reality that inequality in educational outcomes is inevitable.

It’s a matter for debate.
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