Throwback to New Bingham (1976): Clubs and Education

Zion Smith, Staff Writer

1975: An open classroom education plan that almost happened, the beginnings of the paydirt club,

weird seventies hairdo’s an “electronics club” that had one, (count it) one computer, corporal

punishment: completely legal! Let’s just say, when the “new” location for Bingham opened in 75, it was

not the same place we spend most of our days in now. And man were those differences big.

So, here’s pretty much a list of all those things in clubs and academics that have change in the last forty



The ski clubs in a lot of schools use to be huge. Every week there would be an event. (Because ski lift

tickets were cheap and almost everyone skied.) Clubs helped with college scholarships back then. There

was a “mountain club” that held an event once a month, where they would go on a hike. Pep clubs were

also big back then. And they went to all the games of the more popular sports. No chess club. And

definitely no “battle game club.”

The “technology” club:

Computers took up most of a room in 75. “When you say computer, realize, we were using punch cards.

And in order to get the dang thing to work, you had to run it through the computer.” Said one student

from bingham. Those computers were basically capable of what a four function calculator can do now.

Overhead projectors were the cutting edge technology then. And making copies was a grueling task.

Students took “typing” class and used typewriters.

School dances:

Girls association ran all the girls pref dances. And there was dance “royalty” elected for every dance. All

of them. A dance “scandal” would have been over a halter top at the time. Whereas now, we make local

news over administrative decisions about strapless dresses.

Dress code:

Teachers would make boys tuck in their shirts “or else.” (cough cough *corporal punishment*)  Policy

had just recently allowed girls to wear pants to school a few years before this. And boy were they glad.

Open classroom plan:

The schools that initially had this plan all eventually ended up remodeling. “The noise level is

unmanageable” said one teacher who’d experienced this classroom format.  “It was a cost-cutting idea

that formed with an educational fad. It did not work. It was a disaster. It’s a difficult way to teach and it

caused tension between teachers.” Let’s be glad we have actual walls.


“High schools now offer a much, much wider range of classes you can take than high schools of the past”

said Mrs. Murray, a teacher now who was in high school at the time. There was no concurrent

enrollment when the “new” Bingham opened. Very few kids took  A.P. classes, and those who did were

the sterling scholars. “There are very, very wide ranging classes to give students more educational

opportunities now. High school is slowly becoming more like college.” Added Mrs. Murray.

In the last forty years, Bingham High has become a very different place. So many more clubs and

programs have changed. But hey, let’s just be glad that we have all the opportunities that we do now.

Because, let’s be honest, having multiple, fully functional computers in the library is really convenient.