Wendy Stogner used skeleton and dead body props to create crime scenes in her Broomfield backyard, first warning her neighbors through social media that the realistic looking scenes weren’t actually real.

Her backyard crime scene pictures allowed her Career and Technical Education criminal justice students to continue learning after Boulder Valley schools closed to in-person classes in mid-March amid coronavirus concerns. For Stogner’s classes, the closure meant no access to the school’s crime scene lab.

“I had to get creative,” she said.

Moving hands-on, technical education classes online, from automotive collision repair to cosmetology to welding, was a challenge.

Boulder Valley Career and Technical Education Director Arlie Huffman said teachers found new ways to provide content, compiling video libraries of skill demonstrations and industry speakers. They also sought open source and open access materials in their content areas their students could use.

A more difficult challenge to overcome, he said, was equity while learning from home.

“Some students have the industry equipment and family members available who can help the learning continue, while other students have neither of those,” he said. “We are very worried that many of our students who otherwise would have earned industry certificates may lose out on that opportunity due to those issues.”

Michael Bautista, lead teacher for Boulder Valley’s construction program, said his students couldn’t finish working at Habitat for Humanity build sites as planned because of the coronavirus shutdowns.

Instead, he asked them to talk to their parents about helping with projects around their homes, including repairing doors, painting and remodeling. He supplied some lumber if needed that had already been donated.

He also provided recordings of speakers who talked about their training experiences in the construction industry, as well as creating a challenge where students had to plan habitats for…

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