By Andrew Janigian
Woodshop is an amazing elective, offering a variety of things to make and do. It gives you wide experience in many fields that are not always easy to come by. This is why I decided to interview Mr. Koop, the industrial technology teacher here at Santa Barbara Junior High.
What is your profession and why did you choose to go into it?
I am an industrial technologist, and I sort of fell into my job. 2 years ago, my friend wanted me to to take over his job because he was going to retire.
(Did you have any jobs before this?) Yes, I was a carpenter for 9 years, and even built my own house! I really liked working with other people when I built stuff, so that is why I enjoy my woodshop class; I get to work with my students every day!
Do electronics or machines play any role in your job?
Yes, a huge one! Wood carving machines are 75% of my job! The other 25% is making stuff by hand, and teaching others how to use the machines we work with. We use both simple and automated machines in our classroom.
What is your favorite part of your job, and why do you like that part so much?
Well, I really like creating and innovating. It is always fun and interesting to find out new ways to use a certain machine, or a new item that you can make. It is also fun to be with my students because, as I said earlier, I do not like to work alone.
Who inspired you to go into this profession?
As I said earlier, I sort of fell into this job. But, Ben Newart really inspired me to work with machines. He was my mentor and happened to be a carpenter. And Timmy Palmer, who was the former woodshop teacher at Santa Barbara Junior High, told me to carry on the job for him when he retired, so I did.
Have you ever used a 3D printer or laser engraver? If so, are they beneficial?
I actually have a class laser engraver, and it is used a lot. As for a 3D Printer, I used one at Moxi, and had a lot of fun with it. I actually bought a 3D printer for the class, and am now trying to find out how to setup and use it. I think it will be beneficial in our classroom because, for example, we could 3D print something to cup the saw dust from getting on the ground. We could also use it to 3D print stuff we can’t make out of wood.
What machines do you use in your class? What do they do?
We use the bandsaw, the track saw, the stroll saw, and the table saw. They all cut wood straight. The router and the lathe cut objects that are cylindrical. Check out how to use them on my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/chasetopherson
Have you ever invented a technique in woodshop?
Yes. Once, about 6 years ago, I invented a way of lifting plywood up to a roof with only one person. There is a video of it on my youtube channel.
In conclusion, I hope I have offered some insight into how truly interesting and versatile the industrial technology industry is, and maybe even inspired you to try for this elective next year.