Voted As Best Project and Most Creative Project !!!

MAVA Colleagues,

We are pleased to share the team efforts of vocational technical students to support MassCTE. Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to report that students in the Metal Fabrication, Auto Body, and Carpentry programs worked collaboratively to build a bench chair that was raffled off at the Massachusetts Career Technical Education Annual Conference earlier this month.

Incredible craftmanship!



Students sit and stand with a bench chair they built collaboratively among trades at Whittier Tech. The chair will be raffled off at the Massachusetts Career Technical Education Annual Conference later this month. From left in back are Adam Segan, Jason Foster, and Sean O’Connell. From left in front are LeeAnn Alvarez and Madison Gosse.

The bench chair consists of two Adirondack-style chairs with a copper water feature and a flower box built into the middle of the two chairs.

Students in the metal fabrication shop started by cutting and prepping all the pieces needed to assemble the chair. The skeleton of the bench was constructed and tacked together by Jason Foster, senior of Haverhill, and Adam Segan, junior of Haverhill. The seams and joints were then welded solid by juniors Madison Gosse, of Georgetown, and LeeAnn Alvarez, of Haverhill, while the galvanized sheet metal was bent into corrugated pieces by junior Sean O’Connell, of Groveland.

The students collaborated to overcome the challenges that were presented throughout the construction of the bench chair. All students worked to fill in any joints and grind the welds flush to prep for paint.

“I enjoy doing projects like this because it is different from the typical projects we get to do in shop, and it challenges us to think outside the box," said O’Connell.

“This was an excellent project," said Metal Fabrication Instructor Chris Gerber, who oversaw the project with fellow Metal Fabrication Instructor Stephen Palmer. "Watching the group of students work together to come up with this idea was great, everyone was able to share their different project ideas of what to make and refined all of them into the bench you see. They all worked very hard to complete the bench and overcame many obstacles that came about throughout the building process. I’m very proud of the five of them!”

Auto Body students painted the frame of the bench chair while Gosse and Alvarez pressed and soldered the copper dish and fountain piece together, which all sits beautifully in the top portion of the two-tiered center feature.

Once students received the bench back from Auto Body, Carpentry students brought over the wooden slats that make up the chair and armrest pieces, where metal fabrication students then bolted them into place.

"This project was both fun and a good challenge," said Gosse. "It required us to pay close attention to detail as there were a lot of pieces that went into making this project, and a lot of pieces that had to fit together perfectly in order for this piece to come together. I liked working together with my fellow peers and I’m proud of all my teammates for the effort they put into this project! I’m very happy with how it turned out!"

“I was excited to work on this project every day, succeeding in building/welding the bench as well as grinding all the parts," said Alvarez. "I enjoyed the teamwork aspect of this project, and although there was a lot of small details that took a lot of work, I am pleased with how the bench turned out and I hope whoever wins the bench enjoys it!”

"This student-oriented project was an exciting way for students to collaboratively apply all the technical standards and skills they know and have acquired from Mr. Gerber and Mr. Palmer from their time in the metal fab shop," said Superintendent Lynch. "We are very proud of what these students were able to accomplish using their skills and strong teamwork."

The bench chair was raffled off at the conference on April 1 at the Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel, and it received an overwhelming majority of votes for Best Project and Most Creative Project.

David J. Ferreira

MAVA Communications Coordinator