Girls at Fairview Junior High got a taste of power this week — and they liked it.
The seventh- through eighth-graders sawed, clamped and glued while learning the basics of woodworking during an afternoon of Pizza, Pop and Power Tools on Dec. 10 in the school’s shop.
“The day we announced it we had about 20 sign up,” said Mike Thorniley, who plays the dual role of math and shop teacher. “The next day, we hit our limit of 50.”
The event was designed to be a fun learning experience and to help female students learn more about employment opportunities in the construction trades.
Participants enjoyed music, pop and pizza, donated by the Silverdale Papa John’s, as they learned to use power tools, each building a folding stepstool they were able to take home afterward.
“Some of these girls have probably not even seen something as simple as a screwdriver before,” Thorniley said. “And today they are going to be using some big power tools. This is going to be fun.”
The event was funded through the Central Kitsap School District Career and Technical Education Department and was free for all participants, all of whom received a free pair of safety glasses. Representatives from West Sound Technical Skills Center assisted with the projects.
Stephanie Baker, from the automotive technology class, and Jasmine Buckner, from the public safety occupations class, also were prepared to give the girls information about technical fields.
“We are here in support of Fairview’s efforts to provide girls with an introduction to non-traditional trades for women,” said Dean Jaquish, student advocate for West Sound.
The girls were excited to get to work, but were patiently listening to instructions when Thorniley said, “This is the quietest class I have ever had.” A reply from the crowd came back, “Because we are girls.”
Tressa Peterson, a 13-year-old seventh-grader, said her brother talked her into signing up for the program.
“My brother told me it was a fun class,” she said. “I wanted to try it out because I have never used tools before. I am pretty excited, but a little edgy.”