Historically, there has been a link missing in higher education - a basic understanding of the industrial trades. Fabrication through machining and welding. Understanding different types of metals just didn't seem as important until something had been made out of the wrong type of material, at a very high expense.
Typical college instruction is geared to the higher levels of understanding very complex ideas. Most sciences—like Physics, Engineering and even Fine Arts (sculpture)—miss the boat on practical, "hands-on" fabrication. No direction is offered for creating the one and only "widget" that can make a research project work, the basics of welding needed for a new sculpture, and/or the experience that can mean creating better designs and ways to work with a full fledged-machinist.
The University of Colorado is pleased to present the Trades Teaching Lab, developed to provide students with the basic tools and knowledge to navigate and utilize a machine shop effectively. Managed by the Department of Physics, the TTL currently offers two classes to students from every discipline on campus: Machine Shop Technology and Beginning Welding. Classes are small by design (maximum of 6 students) and provide both comprehensive orientation and hands-on instruction to Graduate Students and other individuals affiliated with the University (Students - sophomore standing or higher, faculty, staff, alumni, etc.). Individuals not affiliated with the University are admitted on a space-available basis. Both classes are sanctioned by the Department of Risk Management and taught by Lab Supervisor Craig Joy or Welding Instructor Herb Beaven.