School Profiles Contents

Ronald Reagan High School - San Antonio, TX

July 14th, 2008

My name is Shawn Jensen I am the instructor here at Reagan H.S. in San Antonio, TX. I teach Manufacturing Systems, Construction Systems, And Research and Design. In the classes students are taught how to build furniture, cabinets, pens, and other kits from Penn State. During the year I use the pens as a starter project before they start to build their piece of furniture for the year. I have also used the lathe safety to promote making a pen. I usually do a demo on how to use the lathe safely, and during that demo I produce a pen that will be used for a fundraiser so that my students can compete in woodworking contest at the end of the year. It is amazing how interested the students become in making a pen after a demo is completed. Students who thought they could never make something all of sudden in a hour have a beautiful pen that is finished and ready to be used. In the past I have also had groups of students working together to produce pens as if they were a company. In this group setting students have to perform quality control of the pens and then market and sell the pens for a fundraiser. In the past I have had several students purchase their own equipment so that they could have their own business to make some money. These students that have done this have been very successful and in some cases have bought more shop equipment for home use. In fact one of the students is in the pictures that has done this and on average can sell a pen for around $50.00. I really enjoy receiving your catalog and finding new things for the classroom. I can’t wait till I receive your lathe duplicator so that we can make chess pieces and copy table legs on it.

Thank you,
Shawn Jensen


woodworkingfinished pen
finished pen woodworking
woodworking finished pen
teacher and student woodworker
finished pen

Kirby Middle School - San Antonio, TX

July 14th, 2008
Kirby students and teacher

Kirby’s Advanced Technology students are eighth graders (l-r) Zachary Hinojosa, Jonathan Solorzano, Adrian Jimenez, Noe Gallo, Bryan Silva, Carlos Garza, and Alejandra Valdez.

The advanced technology education class at Kirby Middle School participated in the Freedom Pen Project. It is sponsored by members of the SawMill Creek Woodworkers Forum. Members of woodworker’s association and schools from around the country turned pens to send to our servicemen and women who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Robert Tienor, the Technology Education teacher, says that "this is a small token of our appreciation for their service to our country". His students turned 60 pens for this project; they used various hardwoods provided by the woodworks association. The kids had a great time making the pens. Mr. Tienor is retired Air Force and is proud to have worked on this project. He is also very proud of his students’ efforts.

woodworking woodworking
woodworking woodworking

Riverbend Middle School - Iowa Falls, IA

July 14th, 2008
Freedom Pen Project
Pens made with PSI kits & blanks


As of today students have completed over 100 pens for the project and continue to produce more pens almost everyday. Each student manufactures a pen for themselves that is part of the curriculum and participation in the Freedom Pen Project is voluntary. I have two requirements to be part of the program 1 – the student contributes to the pen making process and
2 – they write a note to the soldier receiving the pen that includes a message of support.
We got involved in the project because I am a member of the Saw Mill Creek woodworking forum and that is where the project originated. I won’t take the time to explain what the project is about, there is a web site that I would encourage you to look at it will do a much better job giving you information than I would. Also you can check out to get day to day activity about the project.
All of the pictures were taken while the students worked on the Freedom Pen Project.
The Freedom Pen Project is a great service learning program for our students. It allows our young people to really connect with our soldiers that are doing an incredible job for our country.

David Bonde
Industrial Technology Instructor
Riverbend Middle School
Iowa Falls, IA 50126

Paris Boys’ Club - Richardson, TX

July 14th, 2008

Hi Pam,
Recently I demonstrated how to turn pens on a lathe to members of the Paris Boys’ Club. You’ll see in the photographs the enthusiasm of the participants.

Ted Weiberg
Richardson North Junior High School
Richardson, Texas

Valley View Middle School - Minneapolis, MN

July 14th, 2008

“Here are a few pictures of my student, Peter Jacobson, working on his skateboard. The kids love these skateboards! I have one myself!”

Luke Podmers
Technical Education Teacher
Valley View Middle School
Minneapolis, MN

Richardson North Jr. High School

July 14th, 2008

Above are pictures I took at the Texas Technology Student Association conference held in Waco, Texas. Our club took 7 projects and brought home 1 white ribbon, two red ribbons, 4 blue ribbons club. Both chess boards and pieces brought home a best in state and blue ribbons.
The pictures below are from the TEA Summer In-Service Conference. The name of my presentation was Expanding Projects for Spinning Lathes Using Duplicators and I presented before 35 people. Some of the participants were new teachers and did not know anything about turning pens and other participants were interested in how the duplicator worked and how to make their own patterns.

Ted Weiberg
Richardson North Junior High School
Richardson, Texas

Jason Rue - Orange Park, FL

July 14th, 2008

Dear Pam Levy,
My name is Jason Rue and I would like to tell you about myself,
and how I started Roo’s Hand-Made Pens and Pencils.
I am fourteen years old and live in Orange Park, Florida.
I am a Freshman at Clay County High School where I am a member
of the National Junior Honor Society, am enrolled in honors
classes, and on the Clay High Junior Varsity football team.
I enjoy fishing, playing golf, and working with my pen business.
Last May I was looking through a stack of magazines and came
across your Penn State Industries catalog. My Dad and I talked
for the next few weeks about starting a business, did a little
research, and agreed this sounded like a good idea to create
a business. Besides, it sounded like a lot of fun and it has
turned out to be just that.
We called in and ordered a Carba-Tec4 Mini Lathe and everything
necessary to get started. The videos were very helpful in
figuring out how to get started. At that point, we just jumped
in. After a few weeks, I was turning out pens that were so
great looking they surprised everyone. One thing led to another
and my business was off the ground. After four months, I have
made about 60 pens and sold 46 of them. I have paid off my
initial investment and am actually making money. It’s
great because I can make pens at my own pace and make my own
hours. I am also learning how to run a small business. I am
really enjoying making pens and want to get started learning
how to do other projects like turning bowls. I would truly
recommend this as a hobby or a business to anyone.

Jason Rue

Goddard Jr High School - Midland, TX

July 11th, 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

North Middle School - Rapid City, South Dakota

July 11th, 2008


Above, Josh Hall observes his student, Tyler Fredekind, as he turns a pen. Below, a pen that was turned by another 8th grader in Mr. Hall’s class. It is turned out of a “Crushed Velvet” plastic project blank that was ordered from Penn State Industries.

Dear Pam,
Just thought I’d drop you a note about the success of our penmaking module at the 7th and 8th grade level. Students really enjoy turning out quality pens and pencils. My co-teacher (Ken) and I started doing this module this year in our technology classes. The students have really responded well to it. So well, that the four other middle schools in our town are also going to include it in their curriculum. We ordered several hundred dollars of material and supplies from Penn State Industries this school year, and we are very happy with everything we received. We are always looking for exciting new ideas for our technology education classes. We really appreciate this one.
Josh Hall-Technology Education
North Middle School
1501 North Maple Ave.
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701


North Penn High School - Lansdale, PA

July 11th, 2008

How to make a Pen

Featured on this page is Greg Lobko, a student at North Penn High School, Lansdale, PA, demonstrating the steps on how to make a wood pen using Penn State Industries products. We would like to thank his woodshop teacher, Bill Michael, for taking and sending us these photographs.
Step 1 - Cut & Drill Wood Blanks.
Cut blanks to the length of the tube plus 1/16". Drill a centered hole through each blank.
Step 2 - Glue the Tubes into the Blanks.
Spread the glue on the tube. Insert the blank with a twisting motion to spread glue evenly inside. Allow to dry.
Step 3 - Turning The Blanks.
Set up the lathe according to manufacturer’s directions. Using chisels turn blanks to desired diameter.
Step 4 - Sand.
As with any sanding, progress through a range of grits
Step 5 - Finish.
Try a finish of your choice, for example, PSI Liquid Friction Polish.
Step 6 - Assembly.
Use a clamp, vise or Project Assembly Press to press parts together.

Greg’s finished pen

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