School Profiles Contents

Southwest Junior High Springdale, Arkansas

April 2nd, 2009

Thank you for giving my Exploring industrial Technology Education class the opportunity to support our troops with the Freedom Pen Project. The  Freedom Pen Project gave us a chance to do something for others. We started making pens this semester and the students have responded with great enthusiasm, Many want to continue this activity at home and a wood working lathe and pen making equipment is now on their Christmas list. I have given out all of my Penn State Industry catalogs. Thanks again. We will hope to participate again in this project.

Richard Newberry,

EITE teacher Southwest Junior High Springdale, Arkansas











Freedom Pen Project

July 30th, 2008

Freedom Pen Project KitThe freedom pen project was created by the Saw Mill Creek Woodworker’s forum to provide hand made pens for our military stationed in foreign countries. The goal of the project is for every freedom pen to serve as a constant reminder to our troops that they are not alone and that they have our continuing support.
Penn State Industries regularly sends Freedom Pens to our troops – Here’s an opportunity for your school to participate in this worthy project.
Request your “Freedom Pen” package #FPPROJ with any order of $150 or more.

The kit consists of:

  • 10 Slimline Pen Kits
  • Set of 20 Rosewood or Padauk EZ blanks (enough to make 10 pens)
  • Set of 10 Clear Pouches
  • Set of 10 inserts to be included with the pens

Value $34.55 if purchased separately
After your pens are completed, mail them back to the Penn State Industries School Division and we will have the pens forwarded to our troops. Instructions for participation are included with the package.

(Note: We trust that schools will participate in good faith, and that completed pens will be returned to us within 60 days.)

Jefferson C-123 - Conception Jct., MO

July 29th, 2008

Jefferson C-123












This pen was brought to you through a cooperative effort involving Penn State Industries and the Sophomore and Kindergarten Classes of the Jefferson C-123 School District. Penn State Industries provided the materials, the Sophomore Class constructed the pens, and the Kindergarten Class provided the addresses and mailing.


Thank you for making this project possible. My class is very excited. The photograph and message above is being inserted into each bag along with the pen. We hope you enjoy our “Thank You” note. The children dictated to me what to write — they organize thoughts better than I do sometimes.
Thank you again!
Susan Swinford
Kindergarten Teacher

YMCA Camp Collins - Gresham, OR

July 29th, 2008

I had an excellent opportunity this summer to teach over 200 students how to make their first turned pen using a lathe. My name is Tim and I work at YMCA Camp Collins in Gresham, Oregon, as the Maintenance Manager.
Our campers ranged from 6-14 years old, boys and girls, English and foreign speaking, and children with special needs. The students were excited to make a perfect pen, regardless of their age or ability.
Before one assumes that I have many years of experience turning pens, I want to make it known that I turned my first pen 3 weeks before campers arrived at camp. The learning curve is very quick.
Each cabin of students (10-12 students) would arrive for a one hour session of pen making in which they would be divided into pairs. One partner would make a pen during the first class, and later that week the other partner would make their pen. I used 2 lathes to accomplish as much production as possible. The first lathe had the duplicator, and the other lathe was only for sanding and finishing.
Before each class arrived I needed to prepare the wood blanks, which I cut from fallen trees on the camp property, then I would round all the edges on the lathe to reduce about 3 minutes off the overall time.
The class looked something like this:
Students arrive at 1:00
Introduced myself and the tools and safety rules of the shop.
The cabin divides into partners and numbers each group.
Group 1 starts turning while everyone watches.
After turning (usually 6-9 minutes) I take the turned blanks to the other lathe and demonstrate sanding and finishing techniques.
Once finished, we assemble the pens with the pen press.
Group 2 starts immediately following the completion of Group 1 and then each lathe was in use for the remainder of the session.
Session 1 usually finished only 5 pens and the remaining 6-7 pens were finished during Session 2.
All of the pens made were Slimline pens and were treated with Shellawax, then put into a plastic case to protect the pen.
Camp is finished for the summer and pen turning has already been put into next years list of events. Students and teachers alike had a great time making the pens and enjoyed starting a tradition.

Tim Fast, Maintenance Manager
YMCA Camp Collins

Carol City Middle School Miami-Dade County, FL

July 29th, 2008

Dear Penn State Industries,

I would like to first thank you on behalf of all 103 students enrolled in the Technology Education courses at Carol City Middle School in Miami-Dade County, FL.

My students really enjoyed the opportunity you and Saw Mill Creek Woodworker’s forum provided to honor our men and women in uniform. Along with the 10 pen kits supplied from Penn State and 103 from Saw Mill Creek, we created a total of 113 pens. We have participated in the Freedom Pen Project for several years now and each time it is truly an enjoyable experience. The responses from our servicemen/women shows overwhelmingly the joy they received from any support they get from folks back home.

So on that note, we again say "THANK YOU!!!"
Vaden M. Scott
Technology Education Instructor
Carol City Middle School Miami-Dade County, FL

Burges High School - El Paso, Texas

July 29th, 2008

Dear Penn State Industries,
On behalf of the Burges Technology Club, I like to thank you for the opportunity to return a little gratitude to the men and women who fight to protect our country.
Having four nephews myself and students also having family in the arm forces we know how good it feels to let our soldiers know we still care and pray for them. My club members enjoyed this project so much, that they have asked if they may continue this service throughout the school year.

Armando Ochoa
Technology Education
Burges High School, El Paso, Texas

A note of thanks for Freedom Pens

July 29th, 2008

To all who have donated their time and support us, All of us at HMLA 367 Flightline would like to send a special thanks for all the handcrafted pens that you have donated to us.
Pens around here are constantly being used up for all the paperwork we fill out daily in between fixing and flying our AH-1W Super Cobra and UH-1N Huey Helicopters in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and will 100% be put to use. It’s awesome to know that back home in the USA we have such great support. We thank you again for the time and effort you have all put into the awesomely handcrafted pens. If there is anything we can do, please send us an email and we will see what we can do for your organization.

Sgt William Zearfoss
HMLA 367 Flightline

Goddard Jr High School - Midland, TX

July 14th, 2008

Dear Pam,
Thank you for providing catalogs and kits for my pen-making teacher in-service sessions. I did a couple of presentations recently at the Texas Summer Professional Development Conference for Technology Educators in Houston. The title was: “How to make a pen on a lathe; Hands-on learning.” This was a joint in-service of the Texas Education Agency and the University of Houston.
With the help of several veteran teachers we set up the woodturning ‘module’. Attendees were asked to sign in as ‘Experienced’ or ‘New’ to making pens. After a 10 minute introduction I simply asked the newbies to find an oldie and have them guide them through the process. The remainder of time was used for hands-on learning. My list showed a total of 75 educators attended my sessions and all 100 of the handouts were picked up. I brought enough pre-drilled, pre-glued, pre-trimmed blanks to make 50 pens or 100 key rings. We used some of your super blanks to get a lot of production packed into a small time slot—sounds just like school. Not a single piece went unused. The machines included a couple of Delta Midi lathes I purchased in March from Penn State Industries with an Educational Opportunity Grant from the American Association of Woodturners. I also borrowed some Jet and Carba-Tecs from Andrews H.S. teacher Gordon Russell. Thanks again for all your help.
Kent Crowell
Goddard Jr High School
Midland TX 79705

Richardson North Jr High School - Richardson, TX

July 14th, 2008
woodworkers woodworkers
woodworkers with teacher
woodworkers pen turning
woodworker woodworkers
woodworking woodworking

Whitehall High School - Whitehall, PA

July 14th, 2008
woodworking woodworking
(L to R) Caitlin DuPont, Jackie Voutsinas, and Kelsey Farver sand, glue and insert the brass tube into the wood blank. Caitlin DuPont sands a wood blank in preparation for finishing.
teacher demo teacher demo
Jackie Voutsinas and Zach Stephens get some tips on assembling a pen. Sheldon Poremba shows Jackie Voutsinas how to apply the finish.
woodworkers woodworking
Kelsey Farver carefully follows the instructions as she assembles a secret compartment key chain. Jackie Voutsinas supervises as Caitlin DuPont drills a wood blank in preparation for making a pen.
woodworking class  
Sheldon Poremba, woodworking teacher, instructs Kelsey Farver on how to properly use the duplicating attachment on the CARBA-TECH 4SE wood lathe.  

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