Ag Mechanics students work on the greenhouse addition to the potting shed they built last year to gain real-world construction skills. Photo contributed
Students in Atascadero High School’s Ag Mechanics class, taught by Mr. Weatherly, have been developing their skills this year by constructing a potting shed and greenhouse attachment. The 8 foot by 20 foot structure has given students career-ready skills in the professions involving farming, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and interior installation.
The two structures are a class project that students are working on during two class periods every other day, and is designed to assist the second-year students in taking on the role of construction foreman. The goal is to give students actual experience in construction, making them better prepared for the construction workforce, whether they attend college or a trade school. The potting shed was completed last year, and the greenhouse is a current project.
Upon completion of this project, the Atascadero Ag Mechanics pathway will move towards building a tiny house with partnership with California Tiny House in Fresno. Several students have made the trip to see the facility and look at the design plans. The Welding concentration students have already built the 26 foot long trailer that supports a mobile 300 square-foot home. They have since started and are near completion of a construction-grade dump trailer. Through this project, students have fine-tuned their skills in blueprint reading, welding, fabrication, and will soon see a finished project.
According to Mr. Weatherly, “Our ultimate goal in the program is to give students the hands-on skills that will permit them to make better decisions for their futures. The program has been collaborating with local labor unions to better prepare students for the workforce of today. With the creation of better support and funding, our students will be better and stronger, and have the skills to enter the industrial workforce.”