Woodworking Winter Elective

By Katrina Geertsema

One of our choices for Winter Electives this year was woodworking. Students went off-site to the home of one of their leaders, so that they were able to work in his workshop. With their leaders, Steve Geertsema and Jack VanGilst, they were shown the workshop and tools, and given some safety guidelines. “I learned about safety,” Ben told me, “and about which tools I should never use without an adult.”

Over the five week session, students built a traditional French shuffle-board game called Passe-Trappe. They looked at the example and drew out a plan, then cut, sanded, drilled, glued and sprayed to complete their own game.

“I learned about measuring and safety,” Cian told me, when I asked about his experiences. Braydon told me excitedly, “I’m one of the only people in my family who knows how to woodwork. I enjoyed sanding and drilling.”

The students were excited to talk about their finished game. Cian told me how he had taught his family to play the game that they had enjoyed playing together. Ben said, “I brought it to my Pake and Beppe’s (his grandparents) this weekend for my cousins’ birthday party. We played lots and lots of games of it.” The pride was evident on his face and he talked about his game.

During their last session, the group an elastic powered car. The boys enjoyed building and racing their cars, and they were proud to show them to their peers at school.

New skills, safety knowledge, and a finished product to enjoy with family!