|Norm Abram Makes A Visit To Killingly High|
David: Norm Abram, host of "This Old House" and "The New Yankee Workshop," spent time examining several items created by members of the school's construction, architecture and engineering pathway programs for the Massachusetts' "living museum," which recreates life in rural New England 200 years ago.
The school and Old Sturbrudge Village joined forces in 2013 in an effort to create recreations of the museum's several 18th- and 19th-century artifacts.
"Many of these priceless items are stored in the village's warehouse or displayed behind glass," said Jim Hutson, the high school?s technical education teacher. "The pieces our students made were designed to be touched and used."
Since the partnership began, students have produced replica tables, benches, toys and a wheel barrow. A team of student craftsmen next week will begin building a two-story children's' playhouse for the village's grounds.
Abram, a member of the Old Sturbridge Village board of directors, lauded the students' work, noting their ability to use modern and original wood-working techniques to produce the items.
"These artifacts are very special and worth preserving," he said. "But they do get worn out. So, how do you get around that? You make replicas. The bottom-line is you're making things we can use, that the public can touch."
Senior Edmond Raheb, 17, last year built a replica wheel barrow using scrap metal, wood and a homemade fire pit.
"The best part of the process is learning new techniques," he said. "And, after getting all the supplies, starting to assemble the piece was great."
Hutson said he hopes to expand the school's relationship with the museum by getting other school disciplines involved.
"Our vocational-agriculture students are already working with the village's animals and our (audio-visual) department has done some promotional work," he said. "And today we're so excited to be here with (Abram), an icon in the industry."
Jim Donahue, president and chief executive officer for Old Sturbridge Village, said the ongoing partnership with Killingly High will be used as a template for similar relationships.
"But as long as I'm president, Killingly will be our number one, top-priority school," he said. "You've opened the doors for other schools."
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Source: John Penney, The Bulletin