Making History with Snap-on Tools: North Butler junior high program is first in the nation

L-R (standing): Eric Bixby, David Brown, Liz Schroeder, Bobbi Spainhower, Joel Foster, Amanda Hewitt, Laura Staudt. L-R (front): Tate Menne, Lucas Martzahn, Layn Freiberg. (Bethany Carson photo.)

The North Butler Snap-on Tool program, sponsored by local businesses American Tool and Engineering, Wedeking Electric, Cooper Motors and Allison Farmers’ Feed and Grain, is the first in the nation to begin working with junior high students—and students are enthusiastic.

     “When I first mentioned it to this eight grade group, I said this was the first group that we’ve implemented this in. I was a little nervous. I didn’t know how they’d handle it, because this is higher learning. This is stuff that a lot of colleges are doing, and we’re trying to implement it in our high school,” said Industrial Tech teacher David Brown. “I thought, well, let’s see if we can do it at the middle school level. And this group was excited, especially when I told them they could make history. … They were very excited, and they still seem excited. They actually finished their last lab today, so tomorrow they’ll get to start on the test. We’ll see how that goes, but I think they’ll do all right.”

     In the Snap-on Tool program, students learn skills such as precision measuring, calibrating, torque theory and how to use a multimeter. They also can earn certifications attesting to those skills through the National Coalition of Certification Centers.

     At the Snap-on Tool rollout on Wednesday, Superintendent Joel Foster thanked the sponsors, board of education and Steve Shultz the President of NIACC for their respective roles in bringing the idea to life. North Butler is part of the Region 2 regional planning partnership for Iowa community colleges. Their regional planning partnership decided to do something different, and set up a program with Snap-on Tools. Over the summer, Industrial Tech teacher Dave Brown traveled to Oregon to learn how to work with precision measuring and multimeters with 18 other instructors, so he could bring those skills back to his students.


Read more in the January 18 edition of the Tribune.