By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff
A few sixth-graders at the Learning Bridge Charter School are getting unique, hands-on experience in a project that blends creativity, practicality and safety. Large wooden spools donated by C.B. and Yvette Tillery are being cut, carved, sanded and finished into a variety of furniture designed by the students.
“We’re working on an end table that is going to be used to play chess,” sixth-grade student Garrett Rice said.
Rice and his partner Austin Andre sketched out a rough blueprint on a piece of paper, including measurements for the chess board and created a list of tools they thought they would need to complete the project. Instructors made sure the students came up with a planning process to emphasize thinking ahead and being prepared.
The projects are being created for an art show the charter school is going to put on April 12. Each sixth-grader custom designed piece will be for sale, with the proceeds going towards the school itself.
Robinson Mine employees Jon McSmith and Josh Deleon both volunteered their time on Friday to help teach the students proper safety measures for the woodworking equipment that would be used on the projects.
“Josh asked me to come down to talk about safety. Tool safety, hand safety, start them off thinking about safety before they really get to work,” said McSmith, the Senior Safety Coordinator for Robinson.
Deleon pledged to come by the school and help the students with their projects every Friday afternoon until they’re finished. McSmith said he would try to be as involved as his schedule would allow.
Nicco Montoya planned on turning his spool into an entertainment center, with shelves to hold speakers and a radio down the center, with a small dowel to serve as a CD holder. Rulon Craw and Richard Sandoval want to turn theirs into a coffee table with a polished surface.
One of the teachers overseeing the project referred to the project as “up-cycling” which is a term she said means to make something new out of something that has already been used.