For the past month, Justin Turek has been learning how to use math in the world of carpentry.
The 12-year-old Algonquin Avenue Public School student was one of about 14 Grade 6 and 7 students from various Lakehead Public Schools taking part in a math camp.
The camp is run in partnership with the Carpenters Local 1669 union and had the kids making birdhouses, tool boxes, dog houses and other projects.
“It’s been fun and challenging,” said Justin. “There are some hard parts but it always works out in the end and you always get a nice finished project.”
Justin, who’s beginning Grade 7 in September, said he likes the camp because he enjoys carpentry.
“I think it’s something that’s fun and you can make some cool stuff out of it,” he said.
Friday was the culmination of this summer’s math camp and the students were presented with certificates for completing the program.
“Today is really a celebration of the things the kids have built,” said A.J. Keene, principal of program and early years at Lakehead Public Schools, noting the students had five visits over the course of the camp to the carpenters union training centre to learn specific carpentry skills.
“They learned how to use tools,” he said. “They learned about safety and more importantly, they connected into the mathematics that’s part of the programming.”
Keene said one benefit of the camp is that it’s free and provides a summer learning camp experience for kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
It also reduces the loss of learning over the summer break.
“Summer loss is a real thing,” said Keene. “When you have two months without reading, without doing math, without writing, when you come back in September, you forget a lot and it takes you a long time to get back in the groove. Doing this all through the month of July reduces that loss greatly.”
The math and carpentry camp is one of 11 summer camps the board runs that focuses on literacy, numeracy and First Nation, Metis and Inuit cultural activities.