Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Charles Hayes of Halifax, the students in the Skilled Trades group at AWEC have the chance to explore the mechanical complexities of a 1924 Model T Ford.
Dr. Hayes bought the car already in pieces, over 30 years ago with plans to restore and reassemble it. As he realized recently, perhaps it was time to let someone else do the work.
After hearing Grant Slinn from Annapolis Royal describing his plans for a school where young people could learn about old cars, he felt there was a good opportunity to help the project and get his garage emptied out.
“Old cars, particularly those in pieces, provide an amazing opportunity for young people to discover and develop many diverse skills,” said Slinn. “Because the pieces are usually large and straight forward, they allow for discovery learning about how things work. And there's lots of opportunity to go beyond the figuring out the mechanical functions to explore the social circumstances that led to the design.”
After some discussion with Steve Schell, the principal of AWEC, Slinn transferred the donation to the school.
“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to enrich our program,” said Schell. “Students from other disciplines will be able to get involved and explore the business side of the project. There will be a lot of opportunities for creative writing, social history studies, communication via the internet and print that will be great for our students.”
Brendon Frail, Skilled Trades teacher said that the student team is already exploring the internet for information about the car.
“We'll divide the class into work teams, each one can focus on a specific component or area of the car such as the engine, the wiring, the upholstery, the steering system and so on,” Frail said. “They'll share their discoveries with the entire team as they move forward in the work on the car. It's a great change from our usual projects and we are all very excited about it.”
The Martin Foundation, based in Toronto, heard about the project and was pleased to make a donation to the school to help with some of the expenses associated with the work.
“We usually support health-related projects but we are very pleased to support this unusual discovery learning project in Annapolis Royal,” said Elizabeth Martin, vice-president of the Martin Foundation. “We wish the students great success.”