I recently came across an interesting press release from Mastercam highlighting the woodworking program at Clearwater High School in rural Clearwater, Kansas. This program, however, has one quality that makes it unique: It only includes girls.

Ron Cox, the technology instructor at the school, noticed quite a few girls interested in computer-aided manufacturing, as well as some other woodworking projects, but none of them ever signed up for the actual woodworking class. Cox and another teacher came to the conclusion that the girls were intimidated to be in a woodworking class with the boys. Cox’s solution: Woodworking for Girls.

Since it was launched, the class has been consistently full. Each project usually uses computer-automated woodworking, both in designing parts and writing programs for the school’s CNC router. And apparently, many of the program’s participants go on to take advanced woodworking and manufacturing courses as well.

So is Cox on to something here? Are we on the verge of an influx of estrogen into the woodworking shop, or is this just something a little out of the norm? Diversity in the workplace can be a good thing, and introducing the female perspective into traditionally male practices and processes might be interesting and enlightening. What do you think? We would love to hear your comments.

*While we are on the subject, check out this link to an article in the August issue of CWB magazine about a woman-owned green cabinet shop in Chicago, IL.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.