SAN JUAN COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – One New Mexico high school is putting a new spin on education. Aztec High School has started a bike program that teaches students a new trade.
“To me, it’s just an activity where you can hop on two wheels and go out in the middle of nowhere and have fun,” says student Alexander Wood. Students at Aztec High School in San Juan County are learning how to build and fix bikes.
The program which has been two years in the making is in its first year and has about twenty students. The school says the program is meant to give students a fresh way to learn relevant skills. “We want to develop our kids and give them some real-world skills and opportunities to be able to get jobs,” says the Aztec High School principal, Brandon Thurston.
The curriculum was developed by a non-profit organization called “Project Bike Tech.” The class teaches a variety of topics including bike history and creating safe bike trails.
The school received the Katrina Grant which gave $60,000 to fund the program for three years. They also got an additional $30,000 grant for equipment.
Last week, Farmington Police Department donated 20 bikes to the program that students will be able to refurnish and rebuild. Some students say the program has even influenced their career goals. “I want to go to college to become a mechanical engineer and I was thinking about it that I could design bikes and start even my own company one day or something,” says student Sean Hawkins.
Others say they’re just having fun. “You’re never sitting here working on paper assignments and spending all hour being quiet. You’re always doing something. You’re always helping someone and I like that part,” says student Kenny Cole.
More than 100 students are already signed up for the program next year. The school is also working on creating a bike team.