The Kids Are in Charge

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In Standwood, Washington, they’ve got it a little backwards — here, the students have become the teachers.  The teens are teaching the adults how to weld!!

Stanwood students teach adults welding
By GALE FIEGE
THE DAILY HERALD

STANWOOD, Wash. — When a group of high school welding students decided to offer a class for the community, they never imagined having to turn people away.

“It was amazing to us. We had 25 people on a waiting list right off the bat,” said teacher Darryl Main, adviser for Stanwood High School’s Agricultural Mechanics Club. “The community welding course has been so well-received, we might have to run another one this spring.”

For $60, adult students get 12 hours of instruction focusing on shielded metal and gas metal arc welding. Proceeds from the class help fund the club’s field trips and contest travel expenses.

On a recent Thursday, the garage doors to Stanwood’s ag shop were flung wide open. Twenty adults in protective helmets, coveralls and heavy gloves huddled over metal pieces, torches in hand and sparks flying, while teenagers coached them one-on-one through the welding process.

“It’s great to watch the kids teaching, and the adults enjoying learning from them,” Main said. “There’s no better way to learn than to teach. You can just see the self-esteem of the kids go up. They feel empowered and that’s pretty dang cool.”

Nearly half of the adult students in the class are women.

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