First Flight High School students design and install skateboard rack for middle schoolers

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2020

First Flight Middle School has a brand new skateboard rack thanks to the students of Mike Pitzulo’s advanced skills carpentry class at First Flight High School.

Diane Childress, principal at FFMS, said that in November of 2019, she had sent out an email in their quarterly newsletter regarding the need of materials or time to complete some outstanding projects in the building. Childress decided to reach out to the community.

One of these projects was the need for a skateboard rack near the entrance of the middle school. “We have about twenty to thirty kids who skateboard to school,” Childress said. She mentioned that there are students who get up early to skateboard at Aviation Park and then come to class, while others go straight from school to the skatepark.

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When the students bring their skateboards into school, Childress said the boards “usually end up in a pile near teachers’ mailboxes.” After seeing the newsletter, parent Carrie Lutz reached out to Childress and suggested the project be offered to the carpentry class at FFHS.

Pitzulo had already debated taking on the project prior to the newsletter, but after visiting the school and seeing the dire need for a solution, he brought the project to this advanced studies carpentry class.

“I asked one of my students if he skateboarded,” Pitzulo said in an interview with The Coastland Times. “He said yeah and that’s when I told him that he’d be designing this.” Henry Stecher, the student that Pitzulo has recruited, and five other students came up with a preliminary design.

After review, Pitzulo wasn’t sold on the A-frame design. After re-working the concept, the students decided to build a wall mount to serve as a skateboard rack.

“A lot of times my students want to do real world stuff,” Pitzulo mentioned. This was a great opportunity for the students to put their skills to work. “It worked out really well; it was a win-win for everybody,” Pitzulo said.

“The students did the whole thing,” Childress said, “they created the protocol with measurements and they took a small skateboard and big skateboard and decided what the best spacing would be to fit the most boards.”

On Feb. 26, the skateboard rack was complete and was put to use immediately. Childress said it was great to see the students create the rack from scratch and bring the final product to fruition. “It’s a very good example of a local need and kids who knew about skating were able to find a solution,” she added.

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