By Tom "The BeeMaster" Stead, #39989 

Modeling & Education

Time to rattle another nest and see what comes out.  Let’s talk about modelling and education.  Just look at what a person can learn from this hobby:




Gross and fine motor skills.  If you don’t believe this than you’ve obviously never worked with 1/72nd scale photoetched parts.


A sense of proportion and what’s right


Camaraderie with fellow modellers


Color skills


Woodwork and electronics, albeit on a small scale


A sense of pride & accomplishment at the conclusion of a project.


New levels of profanity (see #2 above)



This last is particularly important in today’s world.  After all, how many kids are being taught “feel good” history in schools today?  Why was there even a debate about the Enola Gay in the Smithsonian?  One teenager, interviewed on television wanted to know why we dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, after “we started the war”.  That sound you just heard is the millions of soldiers, and sailors who died during the war turning over in their graves.  Obviously, Nanking, China, Pearl Harbor, the Philippines and the Bataan death march either never happened or didn’t count!


Ask one of these kids ten questions about WWll and consider yourself lucky to get six correct answers.


Modelling can help this situation somewhat.  Just think of the research you’ve done on a subject and the many paths that you found.  Just as a simple example. While researching an Afrika Corps Panzer, I learned about Field Marshall Rommel, his opponents, Guderian (whose books and tactics were studied by Patton).  Design philosophies, politics and Rommel’s “suicide” as part of his alleged involvement in the Hitler assassination plot.  This type of pathfinding applies to every modelling subject from NASCAR race cars to the Titanic.


Maybe it’s time for the educational systems in this country to incorporate modelling as part of the curricula rather than as part of a shop class.


November 2003