This year our school sent out an email in March regarding the availability of Microgrants for items teachers may need. The microgrants are worth up to $200. We were promised a 1-2 week turnaround for requests, so I immediately applied. Unfortunately, I did not hear back for some time. And even when I did, it was unclear when the funds would be provided to us. To make a long, boring story short, I finally received the funds and was able to order new soldering stations for our students. A 1-2 week turnaround became about 3 months, annoying, but I am happy it all worked out. A few photos of a student using the new soldering stations.
Today marked the last full week of school remaining on the calendar. Next week is basically reserved for snow days. As I have mentioned before, the snow days are rather useless days, each is a half day and is required simply to get us to completing 180 days of school. This week, we will finish up some projects, and I will teach the freshmen about milling. Most of the students have checked out for the year, and perhaps many of the teachers as well.
Today was the Medford Cardboard Canoe races. There were 12 teams entered, and some really nice looking boats. A professor from UMass Lowell had a sleek looking canoe, while a group of younger kids had a small maneuverable hot dog boat. Our two boats looked very good among the competitors, and our students were happy to talk to admirers about the work they had done. Our green boat, unfortunately, had some issues during its first race. These issues mainly arose due to an uneven paddling strategy from the team that led to them tipping over. Tough to recover from that, and the boat was damaged. Our senior boat looked solid and won 2 of its 3 races, although it was on its last legs in the final race. The senior team came in second place, and it was a fun event for everybody. I think we learned a few ways to improve the boats for next year, and hopefully we will again have multiple teams competing.
The final push to get the boats ready happened this Friday. Students put on some finishing design touches, and both boats look great. They are going to be very competitive I feel, so hopefully one of the two teams will come out victorious. Looking forward to Sunday.
During the building of the canoe boats, there were apparently some ant explorers that made their way onto the cardboard during the gluing process. Unfortunately, for a few of the ants, the messy gluing technique created slow moving streams of glue that caught these ants unaware, and encased them forever in a sea of Elmers. The students, feeling bad about the situation, decided to commemorate these unlucky souls by creating a large cardboard ant that will be placed at the head of the boat during the races. The last few weeks of school can be a strange. A few photos below.