Building for a community, fun and a future: A look into Prescott High School's tech ed department
Monday, June 17, 2019
By Rachel Helgeson on Jun 4, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
Cole Penk, junior at Prescott High School, poses with his finished steel sign product that he designed to be placed outside the Prescott Sportsman's Club. He and his father Eric Penk are involved with the club. Cole said he is interested in pursuing construction or mechanical design and fabrication after graduation.
For 39 years Brian Koenig, Prescott High School's technology education teacher, has seen students come into his classroom to learn design, carpentry and industrial skills. Some have left PHS ready to build a future through further education in anything from engineering to architecture to construction.
"It's fun for me to have kids who dive in and work," Koenig said. "We're really blessed to have the equipment we do at Prescott High School."
This year, Koenig instructed a construction technology course where sophomore, junior and senior students built a large-scale shed for Prescott Community Recreation.
The project was one of the biggest Koenig and his students have taken on for the class, Koenig said, and the students agreed it was a fun and satisfying project they would take on a second time if they had the opportunity.
The shed, for which construction started the second week of April, will be used for outdoor storage. The recreation group paid for all the materials, but the class provided free labor.
Koenig teaches the course every other year and the projects are typically dedicated to community organizations.
One student, Cole Penk, committed to designing and completing an outdoor steel sign for the Prescott Sportsman's Club. Penk and his father, Eric Penk, are involved in the club.
To cut the sign, an X Y Plasma cutter was used. The cutter is programmed using a computer based on a design created by Cole on Adobe Photoshop. It was one of the first times Koenig had used the cutter for a project at PHS.
Cole, a junior, said the project was a great experience in mechanical design, something he might be interested in pursuing in college.
"The final product turned out well," Koenig said. "It was good groundwork for how to use the cutter."
Koenig also teaches a wood fundamentals course along with others specific to home ownership and repair.
Freshmen, sophomores and juniors worked on constructing small tables in the wood fundamentals course and were finishing up their final products the week of June 3.
The tables were cut, constructed, sanded and finished by the students.
Many who were first-time students of Koenig's, like Mason Leonard and Henry Gray, said Koenig was their favorite teacher and enjoyed the interesting work in the class.