GHS offering plumbing class

Published 3:28 pm Friday, August 31, 2012

Mark Pipkin is the instructor for Greenville High School’s Plumbing and Pipe Fitting 101. (Advocate Staff/Patty Vaughan)

A new class at Greenville High School has students trading pencils for pipe wrenches.

Plumbing and Pipe Fitting 101 will be the new hands-on class that will require students to understand the processes of modern plumbing.

Teacher Mark Pipkin said the class moves through the subject of plumbing starting with general safety procedures and then advancing to working with the necessary tools for each plumbing project.

“This is a hands-on class,” Pipkin said.

“I’m going to say it’s 50 percent class and 50 percent hands on. There is a lot on paper, but you can’t apply that practice unless you put it into work.”

The class will be offered for all high school students and could potentially feature field trips outside of the classroom walls.

“I would like to take the students out,” Pipkin said. “When I was college, I visited Jay R. Smith Manufacturing Company in Montgomery. I don’t know if they still take tours, but I’m going to see if I can get a field trip.”

Along with a potential trip to Montgomery, Pipkin was looking into working with local contractors to have students visit on-site housing or building projects in the community.

Pipkin said just one of the benefits of the class is that students will not be required to have previous plumbing experience.

“I think that educated plumbing is when you go through a school and you are taught to do it the correct way, because it’s a dying trade,” Pipkin said.

The class is a way to expose students to a possible career choice following graduation. With 17 years of experience backing him along with a college degree, Pipkin said earning and getting certified in technical degrees is needed now more than ever.

“Everybody can’t work at McDonald’s and everybody can’t work in a computer science lab,” Pipkin said.

“It’s going to take some hands-on work to make the economy function the way it should function.”