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Using social media to get girls involved in "shop"

Using social media to get girls involved in "shop"

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LAYTON — Traditionally, educators say it’s hard to get girls interested in shop or manufacturing classes. North Layton Junior High CTE Teacher Wesley Gold has daughters himself, and he wondered what could be done about that.

He says, “When I became a teacher, I tried to get more young ladies involved in my manufacturing class, and I would get two or three a semester.”

Teachers and administrators brainstormed on how to get more girls involved in manufacturing classes. Then they realized a lot of teen girls like social media sites like Pinterest.

“Anybody who has been on Pinterest knows that there are millions of ideas out there,” says Gold.

So, if girls are interested in Pinterest, Gold figured they’d use that. That’s when the school created the Projects to Pinterest class.

Gold says, “We let them use the Pinterest account in the school, in the computer lab and they look up projects that they are interested in that would be within the scope of what we can complete there, at the school.”

In his previous manufacturing classes, Gold says they would see six to eight girls per year. But, since the creation of the Projects to Pinterest class, there are roughly 120 girls enrolled.

Why did these girls stay away from manufacturing class for so long? Gold says a lot of them told him they didn’t want to be compared to the boys. Also, many of them had never used the kinds of power tools used in the class.

Gold says the girls are making really cool stuff.

“They have built jewelry boxes. They have built chess boards. They have built a lot of home decoration,” Gold says.

They’ve also been making shelves, picture frames and step stools. One girl even made a sign for her church.

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Paul Nelson


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