English teacher Karen Jones says the students at the end of her day are usually tired by the time they get to her class. "I thought it would be great to get some standing desks. Studies show that too much sitting has been linked to cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and even learning difficulties," she explained, adding that too much sitting affected a person's ability to focus and remain on task.This is especially if someone exceeds 11 hours of sitting daily. Unfortunately I found out one of those desks costs between $350 to $500."
Luckily, Technology teacher Michael Lepkyj came to the rescue. Since he likes to give his students real-world experiences, he assigned them the task of making five desks to Mrs. Jones' specifications. "The students came in and interviewed me about what I was looking for and they got to work on it. They made a prototype, brought it in, and had students try it out. Then they made adjustments from what the other kids said they needed," said Jones, such as adding a piece of trim to keep their pencils from rolling off, and making a platform for shorter students to stand on so they could rest their elbows more comfortably on the standing desk surface. "A week later...presto, I had my desks!" she smiled.
Lepkyj concurred that it was a valuable project, particularly as his class was able to break into teams designed to showcase their varying abilities: students who knew how to use the CAD technology, for instance, were the engineers, while the younger students enrolled in the course were the builders. He said, "The students were able to enjoy a real world engineering process and see the value of having a skill set during the process."
The class used existing materials that had previously been donated to Medina's Tech Department from Candlelight Cabinetry from Lockport.
Student Cory Strickland says he loves the new desks. "I prefer standing and it helps me to pay attention more in class."