A Peak Into Our Classrooms

PMHS Manufacturing students repair bicycles.
Manufacturing at PMHS
Story by:  Trevor Tomlin

What is the purpose of school? Most would think that a school teaches students information to help them graduate, get into college, and get a degree to be able to get a high paying job.  Of course, all that is correct.

However, there is more, much more to a student’s education at Parry McCluer High School.

Our Career and Technical Education Department (CTE) teaches students technical knowledge that easily flows into “real-world” job skills. This is exactly what Mike Gibson’s Manufacturing class at Parry McCluer High School is experiencing. 
Our manufacturing students are currently learning how to take apart bicycles, fix, or replace any broken parts, and put them back together. This is thanks to a joint project with Red Newt Bikes in Lexington, Virginia. The process helps apply real-life meaning to the concepts of “gears,” “levers,” and “mechanical advantage.” 

This is only just beginning, however, because in the future we hope to offer a bike safety course in the middle school (PMMS) and to have a course offering that can lead to students earning a Bicycle Mechanic Certification in the high school (PMHS).
We interviewed course instructor, Mike Gibson to learn more about this exciting program.

How did this project get started?
Dave from Red Newt Bikes reached out to our school about a joint project that would teach students about bicycles and apply what they learn in class, including mechanical advantage, gears, and levers. It gives a good classroom to “real-world” correlation.

What are some of the things students will be doing physically in class?
The project is totally hands-on.  The students completely disassemble a bicycle, inspect the frame and welds, and reassemble it using replacement parts.

How long will this project last?
This project will last several months.  We plan to donate the reconditioned bikes to children or a bike safety program.