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Winters Mill students build furniture for animals in need

Winters Mill students build furniture for animals in need
Cats are pictured in the Community Cat Room at the Humane Society of Carroll County in Westminster Monday, July 1, 2019. The Humane Society is offering free cat adoptions in the month of July. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

On any given day in the Community Cat Room at the Humane Society of Carroll County, felines can be found snoozing in a new piece of furniture courtesy of a trio of Winters Mill High School students.

Colby Smith, Jake Stiff and Colby Unkart, rising seniors in the Agricultural Mechanical Technology class at Winters Mill, created a small pet bed and donated it to the local Humane Society.

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The cat bed was an additional project after the students finished the final for the class, which involved building a picnic stool from scratch. They didn’t have any blueprints to follow and the challenge was too look at an example piece of furniture and determine every cut and measurement for themselves.

“You have to use the angle copier to copy the angle and you had to use the table saw to cut it. So there’s a couple spots where you can mess up," Unkart said. “If you copy the angle wrong, or if you get it wrong on the table saw, to get around the table saw and then when you proceed to put it together, it’s not level or doesn’t fit.”

Winters Mill Principal Michael Brown said he has been impressed by the knowledge and passion students bring to the school’s agriculture program, many building their skill even before they start high school in programs like 4-H.

“It’s not just a project for them, it’s a lifestyle,” he said. “I’m honored to be a principal at a school with a rich ag program."

The three seniors painted it cherry red, like a hot rod car. According to Unkart, they had no special plans to paint the bed that color.

“We were handed spray paint and primer and told ‘Don’t make a mess,'” he said.

Agricultural Instructor Diane Safar, who said the class will look forward to donating more pet beds to county organizations in future years, noted that Smith, Stiff and Unkart started by helping out their peers with their final project. The class included a large percentage of underclassmen.

“Many students begin this class with no prior technology skills, and this project generates an appreciation for woodworking skills and tools,” the school system wrote in a news release about the project.

Unkart said after taking the class, he got was some exposure to welding. “I really think I want to get into welding, now after being exposed to it,” he said.

“I think by this class sharpening my skills, it’s going to follow me throughout the rest of my life,” said Stiff, who built small sheds growing up.

Frank Johnson of Gettysburg and his daughter Miranda look at some of the cats available adoption in the Community Cat Room at the Humane Society of Carroll County in Westminster Monday, July 1, 2019. The Humane Society is offering free cat adoptions in the month of July.
Frank Johnson of Gettysburg and his daughter Miranda look at some of the cats available adoption in the Community Cat Room at the Humane Society of Carroll County in Westminster Monday, July 1, 2019. The Humane Society is offering free cat adoptions in the month of July. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)
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