While most high school students associate “metal” with classic bands like AC/DC, these students have a different take. Teens at Gilbert High School in Arizona are practically racing through the halls to enroll in a popular metals class, offered as an art class for the past six years. We’ve seen the beautiful artwork that can come from metals designs, and these students in Arizona appreciate their own metalworking opportunities, creating jewelry, belt buckles, and pendants. Students in the class even made crowns for the last year’s prom king and queen.
High schools with looming metal detectors might have problems with this class, but students at Glibert High School are known to work both inside and outside of class, bringing their creations home to pour extra energy into assignments. “The kids that are really committed to the visual arts really raise the bar for the other kids. The class is not really meant for the average student, but kids always rise to the occasion if you give them the chance,” metals teacher Shalei Webb told writers E.J. Anderson and Lindsey Walker. “The classes are sometimes overwhelmingly full … Everybody fits in somewhere in the visual-arts department.”
Western Michigan University helped other high school students explore different metals opportunities last summer, when students across the world learned about the metal-casting trade at a metal-casting workshop. This workshop has been an annual summer experience for the past nine years, with carefully crafted lectures and hands-on experiences with metals. Several different metals-casting avenues are explored, from marketing and sales to manufacturing and purchasing, at a school with a 100-year-old metal-casting tradition. The eagerness from students makes each of these metals classes worth the effort.