Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MHHS Experiential Learning Week construction project

Young carpenters with teacher Zach Harris
T. Lucas and C. Davis photos
Toni Lucas - The Construction component of Matthew Halton School's Experiential Week was led by teacher Zach Harris. He supervised 20 students from grade 7 - 12 as they tore down and rebuilt an old fence and deck at a local property. The homeowner paid for the supplies and 20 students worked together to build a deck, 160 feet of fence, and a front step.

"It was a wide range because I had 7's to grade 12's," explained Harris.  "The sevens were just keeping things tidy, housekeeping and basic stuff like that and the grade 12's did the laying out of the posts, and the spacing of the fence posts.  More difficult and tedious things.  They were also more involved with the finishing work on the deck.  They ran their own crews.  They had to manage students of various ages.  I had five, and each crew had one grade 12 that managed the crew."

Fencing project
One of the biggest challenges that Harris faced was getting the project organized starting before the kids were involved and keeping it organized through the week.  "Getting everything prepped and ready to roll, that was a challenge.  I've never made a deck with 20 people before, so getting my head wrapped around that was a little bit difficult, but it  all worked out.  I'm super pleased actually.  I didn't expect to get this far."  Harris said that he believed that the homeowner was happy and excited with the work the students have done as well.  "I'm glad she's a guinea pig for this, because I hope to do more stuff like this in the future."

Detail of deck project
"You can see the kids learn.  They're around it all day, so it's fresh from one day to the next.  I see it all come together."

"They have done awesome," said Harris. "I'm really happy with what they have accomplished, it's turned out really well."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous31/10/13

    Awesome way to go Halton. Hope to see more of these projects made by the students. Awesome Mr. Harris!!!


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