EUGENE, Ore. -- 8th graders in the Bethel School District are taking advantage of new hands-on classes thanks to a recent $330,000 grant.
Culinary, robotics and graphic design classes are rotating around middle schools in the district every trimester.
These after-school classes prepare students for similar classes they can take at Willamette High School and for possible careers.
Brian Dardis, a culinary student at Meadow View Middle School, said the class has taught him more than just cooking skills.
"It is more about what you're trying to do, and not trying make the best thing, because you make mistakes and you can learn from them," Dardis said.
His classmate, Abby Nohrenberg, said it's helped her branch out.
"I've tried a bunch of things I haven't tried before, Nohrenberg said. "That's been my favorite thing -- trying new things."
Erin Emmert, the culinary instructor at Meadow View, said getting these kids early exposure to these electives is vital.
"In middle school you tend to have band and choir and maybe art for electives, and you go to high school and you have so many more options," Emmert said. "So, it's cool to have extra tastes of what they might be able to pursue in high school, even if it's just a few classes that they take in high school and they like it."
The classes will switch schools every trimester for two years to give kids an opportunity to try them out before they reach high school.