ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rock and Roll College

Updated on February 8, 2018

MARTINSVILLE, VA - Students at Patrick Henry Community College are learning the ins-and-outs of guitar … Literally!

In PHCC’s IDEA Academy, students are designing and building their very own electric guitars.

“When I was in school I took a shop class where we built a working lamp. I was really proud of that lamp at the time, but honestly, I could not tell you where it is now,” said David Dillard, PHCC’s Assistant Professor of General Engineering Technology. “These kids are building a real, working electric guitar that they get to keep. I guarantee you that when they are my age, they’ll still have their guitar.”

The students’ pride in their work is plainly written on their faces as their guitars take shape in their hands. They each add their own designs and special touches fastidiously perfecting every inch. It is hard work, and it captivates everyone’s full attention. Students are not playing on their phones in this classroom.

“They’re learning about math, physics, science, electronics, tone and vibration, mechanics… It’s not all fun, games, and rock and roll,” explains Dillard. “Some of the students had never worked with basic tools or done any woodworking before. Now they know how to operate those tools and equipment correctly and safely. They’re also finding out why guitars are so expensive. I don’t think they knew what went into making one before this class. It’s been an eye-opener.”

The IDEA Academy students are not just learning how to build a guitar. The academy enables high school students to take up to 30 college credits in the applied engineering field. When they graduate from high school with these 30 credits, they will have many options. They would already be two-thirds of the way through a Siemens Mechatronics Industry Certification program or an Advanced Film Manufacturing Career Studies Certificate. They would be prepared to take the Certified Production Technician national certification. Or, they could complete a General Engineering Technology Associate Degree by taking only 25 more credits.

No matter which degree or certification path these students choose, the industrial safety, quality assurance, materials and manufacturing processes, and an industrial maintenance lessons they learn through the academy are critical in a variety of careers.

Jennifer Puckett is a senior at Magna Vista. She plans to go into engineering and architecture after graduation. “We do have some lecture time here, but it’s not like being in a regular classroom. We get to work on our guitars a lot. The other kids at my school think that’s pretty cool.”

This unique program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the guitars are part of the STEM Guitar Project.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)