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Banks teacher's hands-on classes keep students engaged

COURTESY PHOTO - TIM EGGLESTONName: Tim Eggleston Hometown: Grants Pass Lives in:  Forest Grove Teaches: Eggleston is the high school career and technical education teacher. He’s also the agricultural instructor, which includes construction, welding, metal fabrication, horticulture, natural resources and animal science. He’s also the school’s Future Farmers of American advisor. In addition, he helps his FFA students prepare for the Washington County Fair in the summer.

About him: Married with a six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. 34 years old. Enjoys building and woodworking. “I love the process of taking raw, rough cut wood and turning it into something useful and beautiful,” he said. He also enjoys working with animals, especially pigs. He’s also into sports. His students are often surprised to find out he’s an avid snowboarder and was on the bowling team in high school.

Teaching style of note: Nearly all of Eggleston’s lessons are hands-on. “I'm not the kind of teacher who likes being stuck in the classroom, tethered to a PowerPoint presentation,” he said. “It's like I tell my students, ‘I can talk all day about how to hammer a nail, but until you go out, bend a few nails and hit your thumb a time or two you won't fully understand how to do it.’”

In order to drive home why his teachings are relevant — students are always asking him, “Why do I need to know this?” — he tries to connect every lesson to a real-life example.

For example, students learn about genetics, dominant and recessive genes, and Punnett Squares in biology. In Eggleston’s animal science classes, he takes those biology lessons a step further by teaching students to achieve goals with selective livestock breeding and looking at genetic data. 

In his basic construction class, he teaches a unit on roof rafters that shows students how to use the Pythagorean Theorem by using it to determine roof rafter length.Egglestons students have been making their own signs.

Thanks to a Career & Technical Education grant, Banks High purchased a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router last year. Students can design parts of a project on the computer and then cut automatically with the CNC. A CNC is used in various manufacturing industries as well as medical, robotics and welding fields.

Students complete various projects such as desk organizers. They’re also making signs, including a recent edge-lit acrylic signs with the Banks Braves logo. They design the signs and engrave them with the CNC router.  

Students also learn marketing and customer communication skills as well as some soldering (fusing metals) skills.

“It has been a fun project and has allowed our students to showcase their skills while allowing them to show some pride in their school as well,” Eggleston said.

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