I really enjoyed being let loose in the work shop and being able to make things from wood, plastic and metal. For my projects I remember making a set of drawers that folded out into a coffee table and a DVD player that was in the same style as an iPod (this was before iPods could play videos, which shows my age!).
Learning how to use the tools, materials and processes is really good for becoming a hands on engineer. As when you are designing something on paper or on CAD (on the computer) it’s really important that you remember how something will be made either by hand or (more likely) on a production line in a factory.