May 16, 2019 12:01 pm
Updated: May 16, 2019 4:22 pm

Middle school students put down pencils, pick up tools for ‘Build Day’

G.S. Lakie Middle School students put on their tool belts on Wednesday and got to work, drilling away at projects for what the school calls Build Day. Jasmine Bala reports.


Students at G.S. Lakie Middle School put on their tool belts and drilled away at their projects on Wednesday.

Fifty-four students participated in the school’s ‘Build Day,’ constructing products that will be used around the school. The day is part of a grade 8 class that introduces students to careers in the trades and technology sectors.

“Some of the kids, they don’t want to stop working.” said Gord Smith, who teaches the course. “They’re really invested in their projects.”

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With the help of carpenters, students worked on 13 projects that will improve the school community, such as picnic tables, stools, mini hockey nets and planters.

“My group has been working on a garden today,” said grade 8 student Jaleena Cardona. “It’s in the shape of a ladder. We’re going to have the little steps in between on the sides of the ladder and the little holders are going to be detachable.”

In the 10 weeks leading up to ‘Build Day,’ students had to design and pitch their projects to school administrators. Products were also requested by teachers, but at the end of the day, it was the students’ choice.

‘Build Day’ is just one step of the process, Smith said, noting that he realizes not all of his students are interested in carpentering.

“Some of the kids are really interested in getting their hands on it and working, some of the kids are really interested in the design phase” and some students enjoy the marketing and promotion aspect more, he said. ”The things they learn today, at the very least, will give them an idea about whether they want to pursue the trades in high school or just for personal skills.”

The students will be completing most of their projects on Wednesday after a full day of building.

“It’s really neat when the products are done to see how they’re so proud of it,” said Smith.

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