UCS students on board as one of four Michigan districts with unique CTE program
UCS students on board as one of four Michigan districts with unique CTE program
Posted on 11/21/2017
Student working on board

Utica Community Schools students are among a select group of districts taking part in a unique Career and Technical Education that gives them a start to finish look at one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.

The “Gone Boarding” program, one of the four in the State of Michigan, allows students to design, build and test surfboards, snowboard, stand up paddle boards and skateboards.

“This program allows kids to come up with something unique that is right in their wheelhouse,” said CTE teacher Ryan deCardenas.

The official motto for the year-long program is “dream it, build it, shred it” - demonstrating how they are involved in all aspects of their creation.

deCardenas said the 31 Eisenhower High School students work in teams on all design aspects – including decisions that will impact speed or stability -  use the wood working tools to build and fabricate their creation and will have a finished project at the end.

Boarding is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, he said.

For senior Kenny Rembisz, who plans to attend a trade school for plumbing next year, the course has given him more experience working with PVC pipes and resins.

“I really like the innovation of it,” he said. “When you get an idea, it’s your own.”

Senior Aspen Starr, who plans to attend University of Michigan-Dearbon next year, has grown up in the trades industry and said the program has given her a different perspective on construction.

“We are using the same concepts as construction but creating something that I’ve never done before,” she said.

The program has expanded to include students in Art classes, who are working on designs for boarding projects.

The students brought the designs to Burton Snowboard Headquarters in Vermont, where they were able to view every aspect of the snowboard industry.

Students met with designers, engineers, prototyping engineers, and marketing specialists to discuss the construction process.

“The education we all received about the snowboard and sideways sports industry was invaluable,” deCardenas said.