From a rustic-style farm table constructed without screws or nails to
a mailbox pillar made with artificial stone, the 2nd Annual Battle of
the Build showed off students’ knowledge and skill. At the event
sponsored by the Maryville Alcoa Home Builders Association at Foothills
Mall on Saturday, judges awarded:
• First place, $1,000, to William Blount High School
The prize money will go to each school’s vocational program, and money from a silent auction for the projects also will go back to the schools.
Technically the Maryville Junior High project is a folding,
articulated table bench, but the students call it a “transformer,” a
picnic table with parts that easily glide into place to form a
bench. They modified designs they found online to add support so wood
wouldn’t bow, add space between boards to improve drainage and more.
Michael McClelland, a senior, represented Maryville High School with a mountain dulcimer he crafted as a sophomore in a woodworking class. “I learned a lot about music while making the dulcimer,” McClelland said. “I learned a lot about how wood instruments are made.” He also learned about the resonance of different materials, soft and hard wood, plastic and bone. For the nut and bridge on his dulcimer, McClelland used deer bone that his teacher provided. Asked what he’ll do after graduation, McClelland said, “Mainly I’m going to play music.” But he also may get to a two-year college to study welding. “If I’m this good at wood, why not try metal,” said McClelland, who has won previous shop awards.
In presenting the awards Saturday, Brad McDougall said, “There are excellent jobs available in the construction area,” and he remarked about the lack of people trained for jobs in those trades. ”There’s more being taught than we realize, but there’s more that can be done” to prepare students for those jobs, McDougall, immediate past president of the Maryville Alcoa Home Builders Association, said later.
By Amy Beth Miller-The Daily Times