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550 Poirier St, Coquitlam, BC, V3J 6A7| Phone: 604-939-9201| Contact Us
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
Learning for a Lifetime
Feb 23
The What, the How, and the Why of Tech Ed – Greg Skerratt

The remarkable things that Greg Skerratt (at Kwayhquitlum) does in his Tech Ed class can be categorized into three groups: the What, the How, and the Why.


The What

The projects that Greg does are fun and interesting.  Here are some of them:

  • car 7  treasurebox7
  • creating with wood! Grade 6 and 7 students learn applicable wood working skills through a variety of ever-changing project ideas, including money banks, functional toys, treasure boxes, etc. 
  • kitty 8  photo  tigger8 
  • Grade 8 Students are given the opportunity to design their own wood project, showing their learned shop skills and sharing their personality in what they create.
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  • designing and building high performance dragsters that are launched down a track using compressed air. Students learn about the design process and woodworking skills in creating this functional vehicle. 
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  • creating mag-lev cars: These cars use magnets to hover over a (repelling) magnetic track.  They fly down the track because there is almost no friction.
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  • designing and building cars that roll, from a single, flat piece of paper.  Students design their own geometric nets. The students then put graphics onto their cars, just like real stock cars highlighting sponsor logos of their choice.  The cars roll down a gravity track, and the students test how they perform, adjusting their designs, adding weight, etc.  
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  • building a circuit board starting with a hammer, nails, wood, and a design template. Students make a battery-operated siren that uses capacitors, resistors, transistors, wire, solder, etc. The pitch of the siren can be altered by opening or closing the circuit, or by touching connections with their bare hands. 
  • constructing a hydraulic arm.  Using a series of syringes, students create an arm that will pivot, move up and down, and in and out.


The How

When Greg gives a lesson or demonstration, he shows videos that he has pre-made or uses a web cam attached to a projector that he can display onto a massive (12 ft by 8 ft, or 360 cm by 240 cm) screen. 


That way, everyone in the class can clearly see what to do.  (I think one of the reasons I was so bad at woodwork in high school was because I was too short to see the demonstrations). 

    Greg also uses in-class video stations.  For example, when he is doing a multi-step electronics project, he has the recorded the steps onto digital video.  DSCF1053

    The videos can be used as tutorials; students can watch it in whole as many different times as necessary or can fast forward to the needed parts if they need to review something.  As further differentiation, students who are ready to go ahead can get the instructions by viewing the videos, freeing Greg to work with students who need more one-on-one.  Greg plans to have more dedicated video stations, including lessons and tutorials on: staining and oiling, gluing, the bandsaw, sanding, and the drill press. 


    The Why

    In addition to stand-alone woodworking projects, Greg chooses projects that integrate Science and other core learning outcomes from the regular classroom.  Greg wants students to see that Technology Education is not just an add-on or a spare block.  In addition to the skills and practices specific to Tech Ed, because of the curriculum connections, he shows that Tech Ed is another way to receive the learning outcomes from other subjects in different ways

    • When grade 8 students create the electronic alarms, they are using the understanding they have about circuits from grade 7 Science.
    • When grade 7 students create the arms that move in three dimensions using syringes, they are experiencing examples of hydraulics that they will learn the science of in grade 8.  They will already have a tangible, working knowledge of a complicated and abstract concept.

    Greg shows real-world applications of science using Tech Ed projects and experiences (of wood working, mechanical, electronics, and design). 


    For more information, please contact Greg at


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    School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

    550 Poirier St, Coquitlam BC
    V3J 6A7
    604-939-9201 604-939-7828