UHS students skillfully get ducks in a row

Production of flap-footed creatures to benefit needy children

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Jonathan Dembeck separates the router cut duck bodies using a band saw.

Jonathan Dembeck separates the router cut duck bodies using a band saw.

These Unionville High classes were all that they quacked up to be in the Technology Education Department, where student elves have been making 100 mallard duck push toys with “flappy feet,” which will be donated to Toys for Tots in time for the holidays.

With support from the UHS PTO, students in the Principles of Engineering classes showed off their web prowess on more than one level, using computer-aided drafting (CAD) software to design the ducks and cut them out using a computer-numerically controlled (CNC) router. They were sanded, painted, and assembled by students throughout the Technology Education Department, said teacher Mike Berkeihiser.

Berkeihiser said this is the eighth year of toy production. “The UHS PTO is kind enough to allocate $500 each year to cover our material costs, and the students really enjoy and feel good about making the toys,” he said.

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Mark Caputo (from left), Dave Taylor, Katie O’Hare, Brendan Dougherty, Nick McGlade, Adam Slackway, James Zang, Chris Rock, Ryan Margolin, Greg Giannantonio, John Duttenhofer and Carson Szymanski prepare the finished ducks for packaging.

Those not fortunate enough to get their ducks in a row on the assembly line can still participate: The UHS Technology Education Department is also a toy collection location. Area residents are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys – excluding realistic-looking weapons or toys with food – to any UHS Tech Ed classroom or to the collection box in the UHS main office before Dec. 10.

The Tech Ed teachers and students will make sure the toys get to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in time to brighten the holidays for a lot of children, Berkeihiser said. Anyone with questions should email Berkeihiser at mberkeihiser@ucfsd.net.





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