The size of the Eureka Food Pantry shelves makes it easy for boxes of supplies to become stuck at the back in hard-to-reach places. Eureka High teacher Bill Edwards and his Geometry in Construction [GIC] students offered to help solve that problem.
They designed and built 25 upright brackets that extend from the back wall and attach to the shelf bottoms. The add-on makes the depth of the shelves 16 inches shorter. Pantry workers can also use the space between the back of the bracket and the wall for long-term storage.
Edwards said it took his group of nearly 60 GIC students almost two class periods to complete the project.
About three-quarters of the wood used was re-purposed from other projects, Edwards said. He drew up plans for the brackets and the students worked in teams to scale the plans to the size needed and put all the components together.
“The class has a big impact on teaching kids to work collaboratively and problem-solve together,” Edwards said. “We teach them there are all different kinds of ways that groups work together. That’s the way the real world works. Employers want people who can work in groups and communicate.”
Other Eureka students have also logged shifts moving and organizing supplies to go back on the shelves in a more easily accessible way once the brackets are installed.
“In GIC, the students learn to build tiny homes, but they can build other things, too, and help nonprofit organizations with these skills,” Edwards said. “We just adapt one project to the other. We’re doing what we can to get people back into hands-on activities. I love hands-on stuff because it automatically gets kids engaged, then they’re learning and doing things that accommodate their individual learning preferences.”