By Kristin Arzt

At our free Field Trip Day, Andrew, a second grader from Martin Luther King Elementary, held a blowtorch for the first time in our Foundry, melting pewter at 446°F. His excitement was clear as he watched the pewter turn to a shimmering, molten liquid. Over 300 students from Bay Area Schools visited The Crucible last Thursday for an interactive, educational, and inspiring day exploring the industrial arts. With demonstrations in ten areas, students learned from instructors in Glass Flameworking, Glass Blowing, Arc Welding, Blacksmithing, Jewelry, Foundry, Neon, Woodcarving, Ceramics, and Torch Cutting. 

Crucible faculty, feeling inspired by Halloween, delved into spooky demonstrations, which the kept the kids entertained. In our Welding Department, instructor Maliq Nathaniel oxy-acetylene cut jack-o-lanterns for each school group, and in our Foundry, instructor Denise Snaer-Gauder poured molten bronze into pumpkins.

Andrew, age eight, holds a blow torch for the first time and melts pewter.

Carly can’t wait to turn eight so she can take classes at The Crucible.

Free field trips at The Crucible are a community benefit that we provide for all students in the Oakland Unified School District and any Title 1 Public School.

But it wasn’t just youth who enjoyed a day of creative exploration! Charlotte, a second grader at Montclair Elementary, worked with her mom in the ceramics studio.

“It’s so special to be able to share such a fun, creative day with Charlotte, and to see her light up when she gets to work with clay.”

Another parent chaperone had visited The Crucible the day before for a company Team Build! “I can’t get enough of this place,” he told us. “I am already making plans for both myself and my daughter to come back for Woodworking classes.” Parents and their kids (12 years and older) are welcome to sign up together for any any adult class, except those in Glass Blowing, Machine Shop, Woodworking, or Fire & Performance.

Free field trips are only the beginning of what youth can experience at The Crucible. “I’m seven-and-a-half now! Soon, I’ll turn eight,” Carly shared with us in our Ceramics studio. “I can’t wait to do ceramics at camp here this summer!” We are excited for Carly t0 join us for one of our award-winning spring and summer camps – now open for registration.

We asked students what some of their favorite parts of the day were — from smoking pumpkins to blowing bubbles with glass. Read on to see what they have to say!

What Was Your Favorite Part of Field Trip Day?

“I liked learning about Leather because I got to wear this beautiful scarf. It was warm and so soft!”
– Elaysia

“When the teacher used the torch to cut the metal pumpkins, the torch popped and sparks went everywhere! We all jumped!”
– Peyton

Neon was my favorite department because we got to see the fire. And, they made the tube turn red, which is my favorite color!”
– Colton

“When the teacher was blowing glass, I thought the big air bubble was going to pop on us! He made it so big and clear.”
– Jamirra

“This looks like a place where kids aren’t allowed! But we are!”
– Benicio

Playing with clay was my favorite part because we really got to do something.”
– Thatcher

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See more of our favorite photos from Field Trip Day:

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Want to bring your school to Field Trip Day?

Oakland Unified District and Title 1 Public Schools attend for free!
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