• Last modified 1072 days ago (July 14, 2021)


Notebooks, pencils, steel (?) on school supply lists

Staff writer

Your average school supply list has three-ring binders and pencils. But Mark Meyer, who teaches industrial and agricultural technology studies at Marion High School, lists pliers, safety glasses, and welding gloves as must-haves on the supply list for his class.

Meyer can’t afford to risk his students not being fully protected around 225-amp welders and other heavy equipment.

“I make it very clear that it needs to be OSHA safety-approved,” he said.

Very few of his students actually have the required supplies on their first day. They wait for Meyer to tell them exact specifications. Even afterward, they can get incorrect equipment.

“They’ll bring in clear safety glasses,” Meyer said. “They want them to be clear and look cool, but that’s a safety issue for me.”

Welding glasses need to be heavily tinted.

Meyer lets students rent from his own supply of welding gloves and safety glasses. This is what students in beginner welding classes, who only spend nine weeks in a workshop, usually do.

“There’s a certain style of welding gloves that are easy for beginners to use, and I keep them around,” Meyer said.

He also keeps up a stock of metal free for students to practice on, courtesy of his part-time job at Hillsboro Industries.

“We’re very fortunate in that,” he said.

Students still need to pay for their own steel, which they use to create projects. It is bought at a discounted price from Salina Steel. Recent steel prices have limited his students to small projects.

Meyer asks for deposits on borrowed equipment.

“You give a kid a pair of safety glasses and they don’t pay for them, they’re not gonna take care of them,” Meyer said.

Last modified July 14, 2021