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Tidings of Joy: Class Creates, Shares Holiday Ornaments

Ornament String Tying web

Audrey Davis and Ricky Gibson put the finishing touches on holiday ornaments

In this challenging school year, Mr. Swarr’s algebra class often found themselves talking about ways they could contribute to the school. They found the opportunity to give back - along with the chance to flex their math skills - by using leftover plexiglass and the tech-ed department’s new 3D laser-printer to create holiday ornaments. Mr. Garber offered his room and resources, and he and student teacher Ryan Karpack jumped in to help the class.

We have been trying to incorporate problem-based learning into our courses. With the cooperation of Mr. Garber and Mr. Karpack, we were able to provide a great environment for the students to contribute to not just the school, but the community.

Junior Audrey Davis took the idea for the project to the principals’ office and had it approved by Miss Strawser. Audrey also was responsible for hand-drawing the reindeer prototype and was instrumental in keeping things moving.

“It’s been really amazing how it just comes together,” she said.

Audrey credits classmate Ricky Gibson, a sophomore, for coming up with the ornament idea and junior Robbie Sauder with creating the prototype for the snowflake ornament. Robbie surprised the class, including Mr. Swarr, with an intricate design that he created in Tinkercad, a 3D CAD design tool.

With the designs finalized, the class moved on to production and distribution, laser-cutting plexiglass into reindeer and snowflake shapes, popping-out and prepping the ornaments, and adding festive string for hanging. They used math skills to calculate the amount of plastic they would need, how many ornaments could fit onto a sheet, and how much string was needed to create the perfect hanger. Over several weeks, the class produced 150 sparkling crystal ornaments.

Their finished work was included with each food box distributed as a result of the district’s 2020 Turkey Drive. Remaining ornaments were tucked into holiday care packages, along with toiletries and food items from Kitchen Kettle Village and underwear and socks from the Pioneer Interact Club.

When asked if they met their goal of contributing to the school, the class answered with a resounding yes. We agree!

Snowflake Ornament Printer web

The 3D printer runs a sheet of snowflake ornaments.

Ornament Food Drive Box web

An ornament and handwritten note accompanied every Thanksgiving meal this year.

Pioneer white on Transparent footer
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Lampeter-Strasburg School District
1600 Book Rd., Lancaster PA 17602

Phone: 717-464-3311

Administration Building: 717-464-4699
Lampeter Elementary School: 717-358-1880
Hans Herr Elementary School: 717-509-0300
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