This is a design based course with the main emphasis being on the use of wood and associated wood products. Other materials such as plastics and metals are also incorporated. Craft skills are developed in many areas such as wood turning, carving, veneering and wood finishing. A variety of other areas is also studied. These include electronics, structures, environmental issues including deforestation and the principles involved in the use and care of all the tools.
Project work is design based where the students are presented with a brief or problem. This brief is solved with the aid of the design process. This involves analysis, research and investigation, ideas and models, working drawings, execution and finally evaluation of the finished product. The communication of design ideas and projects necessitates the study of some drawing, sketching and the use of computer graphics.
Students are encouraged to meet a need or solve a problem within their surroundings, so that the project work has a practical value within their environment. As the course advances, the project work broadens to encompass a wide range of techniques and skills. This is reflected in the depth of the design brief or problem.
The Junior Certificate examination consists of a project which is designed and made by the student from late November to late April and a written exam based on all the areas studied. Wood Technology leads into Construction Studies at Leaving Certificate level.
The Wood Technology course combines practical and academic work. It combines craft skills and modern technology. The course develops skills and attributes, such as problem solving, hand-eye co-ordination and an appreciation of crafts that would lie dormant in other areas.
Materials Technology Wood is an advantage for the Wood and Building Technology (teacher training) course in The University of Limerick. It is also the starting point for learning carpentry as a career or indeed as a leisure activity.
The course prepares the student for adult life, giving him an appreciation and understanding of wood products in their construction and stability in the materials used and in their general quality.