EBEN JUNCTION, Mich. (WJMN) – Superior Central School in Eben Junction offers a class on natural resources and watercraft design. It took months of work, and on a cool but sunny Spring day, students were able to see their labor pay off.
“I like to think that the boats are a really good marriage with environmental science. We spend a lot of time on natural resources and those topics. One of the things the kids have to do is pick an independent project. They identify a need or issue around the school or in our area, for a conservation issue they can help improve,” said Tim Bliss who is the Art and Science teacher at Superior Central.
The class of 18 started in September, working in groups to help each other build their own personal boat.
“So the easiest part was probably cutting out the pieces of wood. The hardest part was bending the wood around the frames, and then hurry up and screw it in. That took a lot of effort to squeeze the wood together and put it together,” said Katrina Augustyn, Superior Central Junior.
Made of wood and dozens of screws and wood glue. The design is simple, but many of these students were trying tools for the first time.
Charlotte Charleboix, said “It’s really just a great hand’s on learning program. It’s super fun getting to do this with our whole class. There’s a lot of people who had no idea how to use some of these tools like drills. At the end of the year they were using them like it’s an every day thing.”
Whoever’s boat was being worked on, they were in charge. It was up to them to lead their classmates.
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced in school before. It’s definitely something everyone should do because it is one of the best classes I’ve ever had, ” said Riley Johnson.
This is the 6th year for the class, but this year was different. The entire class of 18 is made up entirely of Juniors. The class is funded through donations. The first year of the class was supported by a grant.
“I think the community saw enough value in it that ever since then, we’ve been given enough money to buy all the materials. And this year with almost double the boats, we still had enough money,” said Bliss.