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How to Teach Technical Drawing for School Students

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The field of technical drawing encompasses work done by architects, engineers, interior designers and electricians. Technical drafters require a knowledge of field-specific notation and geometry, as well as programs like AutoCAD. Unlike painting or the creative arts, technical drawing puts a high value on simplicity and utility. You can introduce students to technical drawing at almost any age.

Review technical drawing and the different ways it’s used. For example, an engineer and an interior designer are both technical drawers, but their work is divergent in many ways. Allow your students to survey some of these types, giving each one a try.

Show your students how technical drawings evolve and are finally realized as buildings or other physical landmarks. Take a monument like the United Nations building and chart how the building began as a blueprint. As a result of various considerations, aesthetic and functional, that blueprint was edited and evolved into its current form, which you can show your students in photographs of the building.

Teach the basics of the AutoCAD computer program to your students. The most popular technical drawing program, AutoCAD often requires years to learn well and has a somewhat counter-intuitive design. Still, a familiarity with the program is necessary for any budding technical artists.

Assign an exercise in technical drawing. One example is to allow students to create their own blueprint. Have you students design a building, a car, or another monument. Then have them turn that sketch into a two-dimensional blueprint.

Teach students how state and city codes and regulations can effect how a building is designed. At the high school level, you can show them a basic review of some considerations, such as the fire code. Then demonstrate how a technical drawer works within those requirements.

Have your students realize a blueprint in a three-dimensional model. They can build these models with cardboard, paint and other crafts materials. Realizing a blueprint in a model can be inspiring and can encourage a student to further pursue the career.


John Yargo is a sports writer, living in Orlando, Fla. His work regularly appears in the "Jackson Free Press," and he has published articles on theater, fiction and art history. He has also received a master's degree in English.