Academic classes are undeniably important and provide gateways for a student’s future, especially at a STEM-heavy school like MVHS. But what about the importance of electives in which students get hands-on experience? Student can acquire lifelong problem-solving skills through courses such as art, woodshop and ceramics. Here are three teachers’ perspectives on how these classes are beneficial in the long run.


Art, Photography and Commercial Art teacher Brian Chow

Photo by Fatima Ali

Photo by Fatima Ali

Woodshop, Engineering Technology and Electronics teacher Ted Shinta

Photo by Fatima Ali.

Photo by Fatima Ali.

Watch below to see students in action.

A student creates a pen by “turning” the wood: spinning the piece and cutting away at it in order to achieve the desired shape.

A student uses a woodburning pen to create an intricate design. This process is formally known as pyrography.

After finishing the initial woodburning, a student adds a few final touches to her piece with a woodburning pen.

A student marks blocks of wood to be glued together.
Videos by Fatima Ali and Devika Watave.

Art, Ceramics and 3D Design teacher Jodi Johnson

Photo by Fatima Ali.

Photo by Fatima Ali.

Co-reported with Devika Watave.


About Author


Ali is a News Editor at El Estoque and a junior at MVHS. She enjoys photography, graphic design and badminton.