After over two months of work, Tupper students in Jennifer Braun's English Class put the finishing touches on the SS Piscine - a small but seaworthy boat. The nautical project was part of an English 12 project in which students were studying Jan Martel's Life of Pi.
Braun says the project went beyond her wildest expectations.
"It just makes me feel incredible," she says. "I'm so inspired and this was a highlight of my career. [Tupper Tech teacher] Russ Evans and I were literally in tears. I was so proud of them."
The idea of building a five-person boat came from Tupper Grade 12 student Zach Robinson. Braun originally thought Robinson was joking. Turned out he wasn't. After two months of work and guidance from Evans, Robinson and his little crew were ready to launch the SS Piscine and christen it with a Starbucks coffee cup (no champagne for the minors).
Student Karolyn Lopez, who's known around school for her artwork, painted a tiger on the back of the boat.
But Braun says the SS Piscine is just the most recent example of her quest to challenge her kids to get creative. She says she tries to constantly evolve her lessons to encourage engaged and project-based work.
"One thing I have noticed is that they have moved away from formulaic lessons and towards getting kids to self-design a project. They get a lot of choice around something they are interested in," she says. "The result is I have kids presenting projects through interpretive dance and even writing their own songs."
To read a great story about the SS Piscine in the Vancouver Courier, click here.
Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Courier.