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SUP? Yup. Gone Boarding Expands to Stand Up Paddleboards

photo of student making surfboard

The Gone Boarding class that the Foundation helped launch at the high school has been an enormous success. Since its inception, the class–in which students design and build their own surfboards, snowboards and skateboards while learning hands-on lessons about science, technology, engineering, and math–has ridden a wave of popularity that shows no sign of cresting. 

After the first class was funded, the Foundation approved a grant to double the size of the class. This past year, teacher Terry Szpieg wrote another grant, this time for Gone Boarding to have a pilot program in which students can design and build stand up paddleboards (SUP’s).

“From a number of perspectives, this grant would enhance/increase a number of teaching and learning experiences for a growing number of students across the visual arts, DDT and eventually the physical education classes,” Szpieg says. “I am hopeful that this grant will benefit students and our curriculum on a number of fronts.”

“During design planning and construction, this grant would enable students who might encounter financial barriers, to fully participate in the concept-to-reality, designing and building processes of one of the larger projects available to Gone Boarding students,” Szpieg continues. “Students will learn and apply very concrete knowledge and skills with tools, materials and a number of construction processes (without the financial barriers/limitations of funding one of the larger projects), as well as directly developing an understanding of abstract notions such as seeing an idea through from concept to reality, perseverance, dedication, patience and the result (physical manifestation) of hard work and dedication.”

The benefits won’t stop when the work ends either. “Upon completion, the goal is to eventually have a ‘fleet’ of around 20 SUP’s that the school would have available,” Szpieg says. “Because the SUP’s created under this grant will become property of EGRHS, this grant would provide impact/enhancements on a variety of fronts, for a number of classes, including but not limited to: current and future Gone Boarding, DDT and PE classes. Adding the availability of the SUP’s to the PE classes for various activities on Reeds Lake, this grant would provide additional opportunities to enhance fundamentals such as stretching, balance, strength and conditioning, endurance, body-awareness, physical, social and emotional wellbeing, among many others.”