LIMA — Lima native Brittany Ransom is using her passion for building by being a mentor on Disney+ “Shop Class” television show.
“Shop Class” is a new competition series featuring teams of young builders who are tasked with designing, building and testing unique creations. In each episode a panel of experts evaluates and tests their work based on design creativity and functionality.
Ransom, 32, is a 2005 Lima Central Catholic High School graduate and graduated in 2008 from Ohio State University with a degree in art and technology. Her parents are Scott and Brenda Ransom, of Lima. She was born and raised in Lima and currently lives in Long Beach, California. Ransom worked part time for The Lima News as a photographer in the summers of 2005 and 2006.
She is in her fifth year of serving as the associate director for the school of art and is an associate professor of sculpture 4D at California State University in Long Beach. She also previously taught kindergarten through 12th graders part time when she lived in Chicago and Texas.
As a professor she teaches digital fabrication where she instructs students how to use 3-D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines to make objects.
A casting representative put a call out to locations to teachers who specifically work with making 3-D items in medal and wood shops. Ransom responded to the open casting call last summer and submitted a video about herself with examples of things she has made. She also discussed her experience teaching hands-on activities.
“I thought it would be really fun. They were looking for people who work with kids who are excited about building things, and that’s what I do all day long,” Ransom said.
The show challenges teams of boys and girls ages 10 to 14 to use wood and metal to construct objects such as a mini golf obstacle course, a free mobile library and a skate ramp.
The show airs Fridays on Disney+ and started Feb. 22, with three more shows available to watch. There are currently five episodes available.
There is one winner per show and at the end of the episode the winners advance to the semi finals. At the semi finals there is one team who is named Shop Class Champion.
Cast members are provided with the building materials and the instructors with tools to help make the items.
On the show, Ransom worked with two 12-year-olds to help advise them on how to build an interactive picnic table. Each team is comprised of two kids and one adult who is a teacher and mentor.
“The reason I think it’s a great show is because it really focuses on the kid’s imaginative process and learning skills to build things,” Ransom said. She said a lot of the students who are on the show have competed in robotics competitions and have shop classes at their schools.
“It’s an amazing show where kids have control in the design process. As a mentor and teacher, we are there to help facilitate their design become a reality,” Ransom said.
She said it is her first time being on television. Her friends and family in Lima have been excited for her being on the show and sent her photos of them watching the show.
“As someone who teaches in the arts, it’s really important to think about how making things is. An amazing part of the show is seeing how collaborative and team-oriented kids can be and show kids they can build things,” Ransom said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362