JILLIAN AUSTIN/BRANDON SUN
Grade 11 student Willow Dyck presents her canoe restoration project on Wednesday during the Boissevain School Connections Fair.
BOISSEVAIN — Students restored an old Triumph motorcycle, created their own 20-minute movie and gutted a car for the town’s demolition derby.
Grade 9 students Jaide Pipella (left) and Marielle Yelo present their 20-minute movie project on Wednesday during Boissevain School’s Connections Fair. (JILLIAN AUSTIN/BRANDON SUN)
More than 100 projects — the work of students in grades 9 to 12 — were put on display for the biennial Connections Fair at Boissevain School on Wednesday.
"It is very similar to a science fair, except that you’re not just connecting to science, you’re connecting to all different pieces of the curriculum," said teacher Troy Innes.
"It’s meant to make meaningful connections between their courses and their interests."
The whole process began back in November, when students decided on their project topic, which has to connect to two high school courses.
Teachers provide criteria that students need to meet.
Grade 10 student Jill Martens restored a 1971 Triumph motorcycle that had been sitting in her father’s garage for the past 30 years.
"We took it apart, took apart the engine and got it running again," Martens said.
Martens connected her project to her English course, by researching the motorcycle.
"Triumphs are pretty famous for being in movies, and a lot of celebrities drive them," she said.
"So I did a bit of background on that — Buddy Holly … Bob Dylan and Marlon Brando, they all drove Triumphs, and Prince Harry drives one too."
The project was also linked to geography, with a mapped out road trip to the East Coast.
"It’s fun to pick a project and get to work on something that you really want to work on," Martens said. "It’s also fun to pick what you want to do. You totally learn a lot."
Grade 11 student Willow Dyck restored a cedar canoe, which she linked to art and English courses.
"I had a lot of help from my dad because I’ve never done it before," Dyck said. "But it was so much fun."
She painted a personalized design on the canoe and also set up a blog to document the progress.
Projects were set up in both gymnasiums, and outside as well. Students built furniture, researched concussions in hockey, redesigned bedrooms and created their own "Epic Meal Time."
Jaide Pipella and Marielle Yelo, both Grade 9 students, decided to create, star in and edit their own movie.
"Basically, this new prince comes to the school, and he ends up falling in love with Cinderella," Pipella said. "Throughout the movie she’s bullied, and has rumours said about her … and just kind of associating everyday teenage problems with putting it in a humorous form."
Pipella and Yelo say they put in more than 100 hours of work into the project, and created a 3,000-word script.
"I’m actually very pleased with it," Yelo said. "I think it’s really good for beginners like us."
The Connections Fair has become a tradition in Boissevain, with hundreds of community members attending the evening event.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 10, 2012