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3 Ways the Internet Can Teach High Schoolers Basic DIY Skills

3 Ways the Internet Can Teach High Schoolers Basic DIY Skills

Once upon a time, wood or metal shop was a regular part of a high school’s curriculum. Students learned some basic skills through various projects and whether they knew it or not those experiences added to their development as young adults. Since high school is a time when teens are adjusting to a greater sense of responsibility becoming eager to do things more independently, having that knowledge was a plus. Nevertheless, for various reasons most notably financial difficulties in a lot of districts, these non-academic electives are no longer held and as a result some basic DIY skills are lacking in today’s young generation.

What does it matter if high schoolers know how to use a bandsaw or hold a hammer correctly? It’s not like students would go home and reshingle the southern side of the house or fix all the windows and doors so drafts won’t enter but having those opportunities were positive developments that could possibly open future doors.

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That said, bringing these or similar electives back is a must, but schools are financially strapped and even if parents are willing to pick up part of the tab, the costs sometimes outweigh the desire. That’s where the internet comes in. Students with interests in learning various DIY skills can use the web to meet their needs—either in groups, or individually. It may not be the shop of years past but can still be a meaningful experience for everyone involved. Consider the following:

1. After school groups

Students could form a Student DIY Society and meet for a series of extra-curricular activities after school. The society would vote on researching a number of beginner level DIY issues such as how to use hand tools correctly, when to use certain types of machines, or finding solutions to common home-related issues such as how to repair a leaky sink.

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All the information can be researched online and brought before the group. This includes watching videos, contacting owners of certain sites who developed step by step solutions to problems, and training each other on the various ins and outs of certain situations.

As an added benefit the group could seek out several local handymen who, as a public service, could take the time to meet with students to talk about how they got started and how they are influenced today by the many home improvement websites at their disposal.

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2. Independent study for credit

Schools could allow students to create their own independent studies based on a particular area of home improvement such as carpentry, plumbing, or landscaping. After choosing a subject, students would use the internet to research a particular topic and report on it. A local carpenter, plumber, or landscaper could be brought in to help guide the student through the process.

In order to receive credit for the independent study, schools could set up and maintain a website or blog where students document all the information including any step by step how-tos they picked up along the way.

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3. Holding a competition

A third option is for schools to hold a DIY home improvement competition wherein one or two topics are chosen and interested students would be challenged with an issue. The challenge could be as basic as how to fix a crack in cement, to something  like energy efficiency and how to make better use of utilities.

Students would research and familiarize themselves with the topics online and prepare for answering a number of questions. Parents could even get involved, and a home improvement-related prize could be awarded.

The bottom line: When extracurricular activities featuring basic DIY skills are unavailable, innovative ways to expose high school students to these skills can be found through using the internet. The importance of such skills should not be minimized because they are forever applicable, and whether it’s tomorrow or in ten years, they will be beneficial.

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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