‘Teacher Feature’ in Carpentry

Throughout the first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students had been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have asked, “How did you teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and came up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with a virtual learning platform for CTE. However now, during the second marking period, when permissible by the district, some of our students are back in the building! Let’s find out how it’s going…

Our next Featured Teacher from BCCTC is Mr. Dave Liptak, Carpentry Instructor and active member of the Beaver Valley Contractors & Suppliers. Deeming Fridays as ‘Hat Day’ starting in the first nine weeks during virtual instruction, Mr. Liptak covered much theory that consisted of:

  • The Basic Application to the Field of Carpentry
  • Best Practices and Rules to Follow in the Industry
  • Expectations of Contractual Work
  • General Framing
  • How and Where to Apply for Permits
  • How to Properly Speak to a Customer about ‘Prints’
  • Surveys using a Builder’s Level or Transit
  • The Importance of Water Levels
  • How to Budget and How to Write a Check

Mr. Liptak, a former Carpenter with the Union, works hard on the engagement of the students as well, online and in person, to make them feel as though they belong. He tries to work with them in whatever way possible to help them achieve their career goal in the field of Carpentry. In order to do this, he has transformed some of his review sessions into a game show in which students can steal points from other students if they do not have the proper answers. Questions can be about anything like ‘tool safety’, ‘square foundations’ to proper calculations using the Pythagorean Theorem when planning to build a roof or a set of stairs to code. Another way to make the students feel welcomed? Nicknames.  Nicknames have become an important part of Carpentry in which Mr. Liptak has become ‘Lip’. And what do the students think of this?  They love it, plain and simple.

Ashton ‘Heartache’ Hartsock and Dajuan “Scooter’ Schoedel, both of Freedom Area School District, are new to the program this year. 
Ashton commented, “Don’t get me wrong, I do like being here much better than having virtual class but I don’t feel as though we missed out on the knowledge part at all. We covered so much theory about Carpentry when we were at home, that I felt like I knew something already when I walked into class last week.”
Dajuan said, “Online instruction was okay but I like being here much more because I know I am a hands-on learner. It’s great to be here now!” 
Mr. Liptak says, “Anyone who wants to be a Carpenter has to know the basics of this field before actually building something, so virtual instruction for me and my students wasn’t an issue at all. As a matter of fact, students this year will walk away with more theory than before, which is a good thing! If you don’t know the basics, how can a builder make the building structurally sound? Knowing the basics is being safe and safety should be everyone’s concern, first and foremost.”

Carpentry students, we are ALL looking forward to seeing your projects this year and welcome you back!

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