Instructor at Waukesha County Juvenile Center discusses technology projects
Doug Kugler of Waukesha School District was presented with the “Award of Excellence” at the Wisconsin Technology Education Association banquet this month.
The Award of Excellence is awarded annually to recognize individual technology educators who are dedicated to providing quality programs in Technology Education to students at the local level.
Kugler works with incarcerated boys at Waukesha County Juvenile Center.
Chance to learn
Kugler, who has taught in Wauwatosa and the Waukesha School District, has been with the center for six years and teaches middle school and high school ages. Once a person turns 18 they are transferred to the Waukesha County Jail.
Kugler's mission is to inspire his students to get their high school diploma.
Due to the various circumstances and offenses, some kids aren't incarcerated that long. Yet Kugler still wants to get a jump start on their education while he still has them.
Everything the boys do in class is worth class credit or work towards credit.
Kugler finds a rewarding aspect of his job is helping kids and getting them back into school. Parents have sent him letters thanking him for getting teens excited about school.
"I tell them not to look too far ahead but work towards their high school diploma," he said.
Within the juvenile center, a classroom is set up and organized in a way students understand it is time to get to work. In the morning they do their core classes such as math, science, English and history.
If they do satisfactory work in the morning, there is the opportunity for hands-on instruction in the afternoon. Students can make a variety of things such as money clips, bracelets, earrings, or key tags. Prior to working on a project, they must pass a safety test to use the equipment.
In addition, students have to write a paper on the type of wood they are using. Kugler said students have to research where the wood comes from and what is made out of the wood.
Students also have the opportunity to create three-dimensional designs using a 3D printer.
"I just had a guy make a Batman cookie cutter," Kugler said.
There is also an electronics unit where students can come up with graphic design creations.
In the construction unit, they can make a small model house.
The equipment at the Juvenile Center has been made possible by grants. Kugler said he is applying for a welding simulation grant.