Industrial Arts and Technology Department
Industrial Arts has an important role to play as part of general education in our modern society. Each day our world becomes more mechanized and technical with the invention and production of more labor-saving devices. Many tradesmen and technicians are needed to install, operate, and service these modern pieces of equipment. Industrial Arts offers the student an opportunity to acquire some insight into various technical and trade areas. Lab or shop classes are not designed to turn out tradesmen or technicians but are for the purpose of acquainting the student with various occupations requiring some type of mental manual skill. Industrial Art class experiences will have carry-over value in later life, in job situations, in consumer knowledge, or possibly in home maintenance. Vocational Building Trades provides students an opportunity to explore twenty areas of pre-apprenticeship training for those that are considering construction as a career. Craftsmanship is not dead; it just has to be taught and honored.
The Merrillville High School Industrial Arts Department consists of nine instructors with a combined total of 160 years teaching experience. Three instructors have M.S. degrees plus thirty hours beyond, four have an M.S. degree. The Merrillville High School Vocational Building Trades Department consists of one teacher who has an M.S. degree, twenty-four years of secondary teaching, and twenty-two years of apprenticeship teaching, and forty-three years in the construction area.
Merrillville is committed to the Industrial Arts/Vocational Building Trades program using unit shops for the 9-12 student population. Course offerings include Plastics, Woods, Metals, Machine Shop, Power Mechanics, Graphic Arts, Electronics, and Drafting. Depth and breadth offerings are available in all areas. All areas either are computerized or will be, under a three-year capital projects fund. All classes are elective: mainstreaming has been on-going since 1971 and instruction is individualized to cope with the vast degree of differences where enrollment is open to all.