Students’ timber frame project takes centre stage at KPDSB board meeting
Tim Brody - Editor
A project created last year by Queen Elizabeth District High School students was highlighted at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s regular board meeting last month in Sioux Lookout.
Sioux North High School Teacher Matt Culham, along with students Mike Wilson and Aiden Carroll, shared with trustees about the timber frame outdoor classroom they created for Kingsway Park Public School in Thunder Bay.
“I was approached by a friend of mine (Darren Lentz) who I’ve worked with in the past… he’s an educator and a principal in Thunder Bay; he approached me about a project for his school,” Culham shared.
“I was excited about the prospect,” he said. “It’s always amazing when you can create a project that is authentic. It’s real. It’s not something that’s going to stay in the shop or sit on a shelf. It’s going to be beneficial to the regional community as well as our own community building within the school. It can develop transferable skills and provide an opportunity for older students to be positive role-models for younger students, and I think we saw that firsthand, which was pretty touching and then create a sense of pride amongst ourselves, our class, our school.”
Culham said the timber frame project was a large project in both size and the amount of time it took to complete. “There were 76 pieces. We started in March of 2017 and finished in November. So it ran across two semesters with three classes. There were probably 45 students involved at one part or another.”
After creating the pieces for the outdoor classroom structure, students assembled the structure at QEDHS to ensure it properly fit together, then disassembled it, loaded it into vehicles, transported it to Thunder Bay, then set it up at Kingsway Park Public School.
“I guess the most important part about this project for me was when we finally got it done. Just the sense of accomplishment was incredible. Amazing it all came together,” Wilson shared.
Carroll said he really enjoyed working on the project too.
“It was an incredible project,” Culham agreed.
“Next steps for Culham’s program include creating a timber-framed winterized structure at Cedar Bay Recreation Facility that would serve as both an outdoor education site for Sioux North High School’s Outdoor Education program, and a facility for northern education authorities land-based, active wellness initiatives and opportunities,” a KPDSB news release concluded.