In the waning days of the 2021–2022 academic year, four Pennridge High School students received some music-to-their-ears news: They had successfully completed a long-term, complex assignment. Dan Sheridan tuned this story’s details for abc13 Eyewitness News in Houston.
The task, presented by Technology Education teacher Matt Pietzman, was an in-depth application of the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
It resulted in each student producing a playable, tuned, acoustic guitar from scratch.
“We start out with big blanks of wood [that become the] front of the guitar, back of the guitar, sides of the guitar, [and] all the internal bracing,” said Peitzman.
The challenge was first tossed to students in 2016, the brainchild of Peitzman and Department Head Allen Androkites. They saw it as a fun exercise in STEM, one that would make the sciences more engaging to students concentrating on more hands-on education.
The project has succeeded in generating interest on the school’s Perkasie campus (by year three, enrollment had doubled). What’s more, it’s catching the eyes — and ears — of female students.
The uptick in STEM interest also yielded a chorus of school administrators singing the praises of the idea behind it.
More on this Pennridge High School project is at abc13 Eyewitness News.