Ag Mechanics Projects and Activities, No Shop Required

The activities listed below can be used to infuse Ag Mechanics into the curriculum without the traditional shop and minimal tooling.  Note that many of these projects can reinforce math skills. Plans and activities are provided if available.  Tools and materials can be stored in plastic tubs.    Care should be taken to protect desks and benches from scratching and glue spills. 

Project/Activity Skills Tools/Materials Math* Comments
Sprinkler Stand
(other plans)
Measuring, PVC plumbing Hack saw or cutter, PVC cement, steel tape, PVC pipe & fittings Adding and subtracting fractional measurements. Project can use various dimensions and will support a pop up or small rotor sprinkler.  Ok to do indoors with ventilation and paper covering desks.  Calculate pipe lengths prior to cutting.  Use Schedule 40 pipe.  Painting optional.
Measuring, Inside Measuring small objects, use of fractions steel tape Calculation of volume and area Learn about Fractional rules.  Practice on pieces of wood, pipe, etc.  Can be used as a preparation to drawing the object you measure. See  Agricultural Mechanics Transparencies
Measuring, Outside Measuring landscapes and buildings 100' tape Calculation of area (building square feet and acreage).  Calculation of plants/acre (ex. orchard). Measure building and determine square feet, measure landscape areas, ball fields, etc.  Can be used as preparation for scale drawing.  Can also practice layout of right angles using the 3-4-5 method.
Measuring, Pacing Estimating distance 100' tape Estimating area. See above. 
GPS GPS, mapping, measurement GPS Distance calculation and area. Graphing. Use simple GPS units set to UTM and record locations of various places around the school.  Plot on graph paper using UTM coordinates to make a map.   Also fun to do a scavenger hunt (have students find locations given the coordinates).   See also: Precision Ag Curriculum
Rope work Knots, securing loads Poly Rope, propane torch, electrical cable cutters, electrical tape   Learn to tie knots, hitches, splices, etc. Cable cutters are nice to cut rope (and safe).
Tool sharpening templates Measuring and layout skills Snips, combination square, sheet metal scraps   Have sheet metal scraps (4" x 8") pre-cut.   Lesson can begin by cutting out of stiff paper for practice.  Great project to learn how to use a combination square for layout.  Use of the Combination Square for Layout
Drawing, objects Measuring Pencil, ruler, graph paper (or "fade-out" paper) Scale (ratio) Learn how to do three view drawings.
Drawing, landscape Measuring Pencil, ruler, graph paper (or "fade-out" paper) Scale (ratio) Learn how to do "plan" drawing
Small Animal Feeder Measuring, assembly Cordless drill, hammer, screw driver   Many different plans exist.  Can be made from wood, PVC pipe, or half round gutter.  Some precutting (off site) is usually required, but can be done on-site with a jig (sabre) saw. 
Pre-cut wood projects Plan reading Hammer   Pre-cut wood project (ex. bird houses) can be assembled with limited tools.  The teach plan reading and encourage craftsmanship.
Painting   Paint, brushes   Some of the above project can be painted.  Students can learn about various types of paint, paint preparation, and practice neatness.
Concrete, stepping stone (plans) Following directions, calculation of volumes Contractors wheel barrow, mortar hoe, shovel, concrete mix, or cement, sand, gravel, float, 5 gal bucket volume, ratio Stepping stone are easy to make and don't have to be smooth finished which must wait until the concrete has started to set.  Simple forms can be made or purchased.  Stepping stone can be embellished with rock patterns, concrete coloring, etc.
Concrete, outdoor project Following directions, calculation of volumes Contractors wheel barrow, mortar hoe, shovel, concrete mix, or cement, sand, gravel, float 5 gal bucket volume, ratio Walkways and small concrete projects can be done around the school with simple tools.
Electrical Wiring (plans) Wiring circuits to code Wiring boards, electrical tools, wire   Boards can be built and stored in tubs.   Projects can be done on desks.
PVC Cord Reel (plans) Plumbing, measuring PVC cutter or hacksaw   Hand take home project.
Cutting boards (plans)   Pipe clamps, portable planer and power miter saw.  Finishing material.   Both power tools are portable.  You can glue up wood, then take to a wood shop for thickness planing and cutting to length.  Return to the class room for finishing.   Seal with mineral oil.  Optionally use a wood burner to decorate one side. 

Ag Mechanics Resources