I am a huge fan of the Discovery Channel
as are most curious people. Personally Discovery changed my life. I was just a dreaming car designer in 2001 when
I graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I was forced to work in product design due to what 9/11 did to the economy
the car companies were hiring very few. In 2002 Monster Garage aired on Discovery channel. This changed
everything. Instead of drawing the cars I wanted built, I was inspired to pick up a welder and build the cars myself.
In a fury of learning, I begged a railing shop to teach me how to weld. Next I rented a welder from Home
Depot then with a day of practice I bought the welder I could afford. It was also the cheapest welder,
a Clarke for 100 bucks. I welded everything I could. Now that I was playing with tools
and fire I turned my attention to the old motorcycle I bought a few years prior. It didn’t run and
I had no license. I worked every night from 7 when I got home till after 12 for a month. I
got it running, got my license, and got on the road to my educational recovery. I say recovery as I never
had a shop class in high school as there was no class at my school.
Jesse James, the
host of Monster Garage, inspired me to take my education by force. Now that I was repairing dead motorbikes
and melting metal, I could turn my attention back to car design and with my new confidence I could see the limitations of
my career in product design. You see in product design you draw, brainstorm, and then rush to make the
prototype the sales team wants. But the sales team has no idea what the public wants as they are
not designers. Proof is there are only a few really good products out there to buy, the rest are throwaways.
So about this time I started looking for a new career and job. I needed a job that let me be me.
I want to melt metal, design cars, and inspire others the way Jesse James did. Teaching technology
education would be my destiny. I never thought of that job as I never saw a teach-ed class growing up.
I found teach-ed threw a round about way. I was an industrial design major in college so I have
hands on skills and art skills. By now I had heard of Tech Ed classes but had never seen one.
After sitting in on some high School art classes, I got the idea that if I could teach art then I may be able to teach
car design. Even better I could teach car building. This all lead to me investigating
Tech Ed classes. I then joined the NJ Tech Ed Association and the rest is history. No
more just drawing cars, I am building cars and inspiring many. And what better way to inspire people than
with the truthful pursuit of Alternative Fuels.
I have been on the intense roller
coaster ride that is high school technology education for 5 years. All the climbs are hard and all the
thrills are worth the climbs. I had no idea it would be this intense. Most interesting
is that as I have gotten my education back by building cars with students. As it turns out I am not alone
on getting the educational shaft. Most have no idea how products are built, which products are efficient
and most important how to build products in harmony with the earth. My story is a microcosm of what is
really going on. I find that the biggest educational holes are in science and Tech Ed.
Educated consumers is what I thought capitalism was all about but that is not possible when technology
education, were a person learns about product design, is just an elective. Plus tech-ed is closed in most
schools. For example most adults and students have no idea when the first electric car was built or that electric cars
are even an option.
If your still reading this than you want to know more. Here
are a few links to help out.
First is the NJTEA… That is the New Jersey
Technology Education Association
not reading this to be inspired to teach? Ok than you may be here to learn about car design.
Check out the full season DVD’s of Monster Garage for inspiration. Or check out Motorcycle
Still not for you? Ok than you are here to learn more about
Green car conversions. Ok I have something for you. Let’s start with a video about
electric car conversions.