My Kind Of Homework

Chester Students Restore Pontoon Boat

Published online: Mar 03, 2011 News Jason Rantala, KDLT News
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If there was ever a celebration worthy of pizza, this was it.

Area School in South Dakota capped off six months of work restoring an old pontoon boat with a pizza party. And it all started because Mark Nelsen needed to fix a boat.

"Within this project of fixing this pontoon, came all these life skills that the kids could learn to go out and make a living with later," Mark Nelsen of Maximum Promotions said.

The first step for mark was contacting Dale Bartels, the agriculture teacher at Chester. Work began back in October.

"With the skills gained from rebuilding the pontoons, it seemed like a perfect fit for the Ag Department here," Dale Bartels said.

Students tore out the old plywood and carpet, fixed the steering and lights and changed out the old, compressed seats.

"I took the task of building the captain's tower," Jordan Opdhal said. "We built it out of plywood, so all it's controls are right there when you need them."

Nelsen says students learned valuable entrepreneurial skills that will allow them to succeed in business and life.

"Those are skills that are manual skills, but they're very very important and people will pay to have their things fixed, corrected, refurbished, whatever the case might be," Nelsen said.

Bartels says other schools can have achievements like this, they just need to find out what works.

"Find what fits your school district, and then run with it, you've just got to take a plunge," Bartels said.

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