Mix and match the students, give them materials and time, add some glue and fasteners, and what do you have? An innovative end-of-term activity that engages students in trade-specific hands-on learning.
It's the brainchild of Cabinetry & Woodworking Instructors Vern Bergen, Aubrey Doerksen and Frank Jess, and it took place on the last day of term before the holiday break.
The activity required three different groups of students at different stages in their Cabinetry programs to work together in small groups. Their task was to design and then build a chair using only two 8-foot-long spruce 2x4s – in just three and a half hours! The only rules were to be safe, creative and willing to adapt to the team's best ideas.
Civilian judges, including Christine Watson, judged the chairs for strength, comfort, appearance, and creativity. Every judge awarded points in each category for their top chairs, and the three chairs with the highest overall points were the winners. The winning teams were rewarded with a selection of tools related to their trade.
“The activity is a great way for students to wrap up the term and flex their design, build, and team skills all in one," said Aubrey. “They can see what they have actually learned throughout their time in the program and apply it in a situation that has minimal restrictions to creativity. I love seeing them get creative and practice working together with other students who have different competencies – their strengths really shine as they problem-solve cooperatively toward a common goal."
Teaching for learning doesn't get better than that, does it!
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