If experience is the best teacher, then the Project Bike Tech program at Clear Creek High School is creating bike-savvy geniuses. Project Bike Tech is a national program that creates a school …
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If experience is the best teacher, then the Project Bike Tech program at Clear Creek High School is creating bike-savvy geniuses.
Project Bike Tech is a national program that creates a school district/community partnership in which students learn how to tune and repair bicycles in a special classroom at the school. Teacher Brian Inman calls the program, which is in its second year, a win for students because it teaches them skills to use in an internship or job, or for a recreational activity.
“I thought it would be great to have more classes like this that students can do as a trade, but it’s also a life skill for those interested in bikes,” he explained.
Project Bike Tech is one of the first programs implemented by the district as it moves students to more hands-on, authentic learning.
Inman said students think about riding their bikes, but they don’t think about the maintenance.
“It’s one more passion for them to pursue,” he added.
Inman, a CCHS graduate himself, said he never thought the school would offer something like Project Bike Tech.
“When they were talking about this class, I thought it would be fun,” said Inman, who loves bicycle racing, and after Project Bike Tech, he has become involved with mountain biking. “I have learned as much as the students about bicycle maintenance. I’m still learning.”
There are many career possibilities in the bicycling industry: maintenance, sales, design and engineering, plus getting into the field of e-bikes, Inman said, adding: “It’s really cool for kids to learn these things.”
Biking has become more popular especially since the pandemic, Inman noted, because it’s an outdoor sport that can be done individually.
Project Bike Tech works in part because bikes are donated to the school, many of them old and beyond repair — the perfect bike for students to practice on. Students work at different stations, fixing bikes and then taking them outside to test ride them. A lot of what they learn is by trial and error.
“They’re learning problem-solving skills,” Inman said. “They adapt. If something is not working, they find a way to make it work.”
While no girls have taken the Project Bike Tech courses yet, Inman hopes they will see the fun and value in such a course.
Senior Jackson Williams said he enjoyed being able to work on bikes while at school, and he occasionally gets to ride on the trail that rings the school property.
Senior Wyatt Brent took the class initially because it looked more interesting than other electives, and it has turned out to be fun.
“The hands-on learning is pretty refreshing,” senior Camden Fahnline added.
Sophomores Dominic-Carl Troia and Xander Taylor collaborated on fixing a bike, noting that it’s fun to repair bikes during school.
“The class is all different things, building, fixing and riding what we build,” Troia said. “I didn’t know the parts of a bike before this class.”
Taylor said the class could lead to a job and more involvement with biking.
“When we go home and have our own bike, we can fix it,” Troia said. “I’ve learned a lot in this class.”
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