By CONNIE and LYNN BAER
In 1958-1959, a unique program began at Grossmont: a program to teach students home construction skills. According to a June 14, 1959 San Diego Union article, the plan was conceived by John Warburton, Grossmont High School (GHS) principal two years in 1957.
Nov. 1, 1959, construction began on a home designed by student Frank Moog, located on the north side of the football field. Nine carpentry students constructed the building; and 16 home economic students, three drafting students, four workshop students, and two metal shop students also worked on the home in various capacities.
While the carpentry students built the house, the home economic students designed and decorated its interior. Only the electrical, plumbing, and roofing were done by professionals. After its sale, the home was moved to its new location.
The program continued at Grossmont for many years. In 1975, after the program had moved to Santana High School’s vocational construction classes, Foothiller Wayne Thowless, Class of 1977, was the designer of that year’s home.
Today, continuing that early tradition, GHS’s Engineering Pathway students, taught by Jeffrey Lee, participate in Project Lead the Way’s Engineering nationwide STEM program. Students focus on engineering career readiness that meets industry standards including communication and collaborative, technical, and innovative skills. In the three-year Engineering Pathway, students focus on design, mechanics, electrical, energy, structural design, robotics and content specific to a senior capstone course.
Grossmont has chosen Civil Engineering & Architecture as their capstone course where students apply their content knowledge and skills to architectural design and engineering. Within the capstone course, students explore all aspects of civil engineering and architecture including residential and commercial design and code, structural analysis, soil science, surveying, hydrology, and wastewater.
An element of this three-year program is for students to participate in project-based learning where students resolve current engineering challenges. These culminating projects showcase their science, mathematics, and engineering skills through innovative designs that relate to relevant problems in society.
Recently, two of Mr. Lee’s former engineering students, Jessica and Jamie Medlin, sisters from Grossmont High School’s first cohort completers of the Engineering Pathway, designed residential homes that met their clients’ requests while following residential code. As seen by their work, these aspiring civil engineering students demonstrate that they are well prepared for college and engineering career opportunities.
Mr. Lee welcomes community and industry participation in this year’s project. If you would like to be one of the clients for a senior student’s residential design project in the Civil Engineering & Architecture capstone course, please contact him at email@example.com for more information.
To discover more about Grossmont past and present, visit our website at foothillermuseum.com or visit the GHS Museum Wednesday, Oct. 2, from noon-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. Contact: 619-668-6140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum.