Written by Paige Mustaro |
Mr. Cole and his creative woodworking class worked hard to meet the deadline for the 21st annual Toys for Tots run. Mr. Cole and his students cut out over three hundred different parts that eventually made the final product, an ambulance. Before the class officially decided to build an ambulance, they brainstormed different possibilities for this year’s toy. One option suggested was a stealth bomber along with different designs for the ambulance that was ultimately chosen in the end. The traditional number of toys made is normally three hundred, but three hundred and thirty parts are cut out and pieced together.
When I sat down with Mr. Cole, I asked him how he thought this years run went. He explained to me, “I think it went well although the timeline was short.” By the time the production got started, Christmas came up faster than expected, but everyone pulled together and got the work done. Due to the fact that Christmas cannot be postponed, everyone had to stick to the deadline because no extensions were to be given. Everyone needed to work at the tasks at hand and not goof around. Many people went downstairs to the woodshop to help Mr. Cole complete his goal which helped him stay on schedule.
I asked Mr. Cole how they decide on the final toy that is going to be made. He told me that the class brainstorms ideas and eventually narrows it down to two or three options. When the class has two or three options chosen, they then create three groups, and each group will create a prototype of that toy. “Typically, each group revises their prototype about two to three times until they come up with a final design that the class then chooses. Before the final design is choosen, however, the class normally shares ideas with one another” explains Mr. Cole. There is a six week timeline that has to be followed. Before starting the production of the toys, Mr. Cole has the class build a colonial shelf because that assignment has the students work with the different machines they will need to operate one.
According to Mr. Cole, the students have a self opposed challenge. What does this mean you ask? Well, the students try to out do the previous year’s toy. Mr. Cole does not make it a competition but the students do because they want to make it better than ever before. Each class takes pride in their toy so they put one hundred and fifty percent of their effort into their creations.
If you would like to see a slideshow of this years production and hear what they students have to say about the Toys for Tots run look at my other article, Toys For Tots 2013!