Friday, September 16, 2005

Projects !!

The students are finally in the shop doing actual electric work !

I love the book smarts part of electrical. It is actually a lot more intellectual than many people realize. There is algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. There are formulas (which define the relationship between objects) and a book full of materials to remember. The best Electricians are the ones that do it in such a fashion that it looks simple.

However, beyond all the book smarts that are required to do this work, there is still a fair amount of skill involved in the performance of the job. There is something about the challenge of installing (running) conduit, with 90's, offsets, kicks, and saddles, that just compliments the rewards of doing it right. There is something special about stripping wire, bending the hooks, putting it under the screw (in the direction of tightening the screw), and installing that outlet, switch, or device. There isn't much that can replace the feeling of doing it right and seeing it work.

My students have been in that this week. They have been installing boxes and romex (first year class) and conduit (second year class). All of them have been wiring up switches, depending on the year as to whether they were single pole or three way switches.

They complain that they cant do it. They require constant reassurance and helpful instruction. Still, nothing can replace that look on their faces when it is finished and they have done it right. They have actually completed an electrical project and it is wired right !

The real reward of teaching is in the multiplication, taking the knowledge that I possess and multiplying it by the number of students and dividing it among them.

Remember ... MATH is FUN !!

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