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Students Showcase Creativity as They Craft Independent Projects

Students Showcase Creativity as They Craft Independent Projects
Allison McGowan

Mr. Allen’s 7th grade woodshop is always a busy classroom. The familiar sounds of sanding and cutting are frequently heard in the classroom as students learn how to safely craft and work with tools designed to cut, shape, join and finish wood. One of their last projects of their year not only tests those skills, but also their creativity.
In the second term, students have the opportunity to work on independent projects called “open shop projects.” They’ve already completed all of the required projects. Now they’re using the skills they’ve learned so far and plan and craft a project all on their own.
“Some of them I had last year and so they’re a little more advanced,” said Allen. “It’s really fun when they’re trying to do something that’s outside what they think they’re capable of doing.
“That’s where you really get to see them be creative. And they make things I would never think of. There was a kid last year making a radish. There’s a kid in my last group class making a piece of pizza. She painted it and added pepperoni and mushrooms.”
Summer Jones is one of this year’s 7th graders. She spent her afternoon measuring and nailing the sides of the wooden crate she’s crafting.
“I wanted to build the crate as a decoration and to store things,” Summer shared. “The handles have been the most challenging part about this project. I traced the handles out of the chair handle and then cut it out with a scroll saw.”
On the other side of the room, Sammy Schill repeatedly tested the physics tied to his impossible table. The table relies on a beam and chains working together to support the weight of the wood. He wanted to build a table that relies on a support beam to test his patience.
“This class is a lot of fun. I took it to build life skills,” said Sammy. “I’m probably going to paint the table and put it somewhere on display.”
Skills built through one of six Related Arts courses offered at Hamlin and further expanding their academic experiences.

Photo 1: Sammy Schill creates an impossible table. Photo 2: Summer Jones crafts a decorative and functional crate.