Machine shop checks in with a new project

Machine shop students crafted this comic book themed chess board for the G.H.S. chess club

Karissa Murray

Machine shop students crafted this comic book themed chess board for the G.H.S. chess club

SPENCER TAFT, Staff Writer

The vocational program is somewhat of an anomaly for much of the general student body here at G.H.S., but some ambitious students in machine shop sought to bridge the gap between vocational and extracurricular programs over the last few weeks, constructing a comic book themed chess board for use by the school’s chess team.

The project began with a group of machine shop students Anthony Asaro, Oliver Murdoch and several others had classes with G.H.S. English Teacher Zachary Roy.

“They approached me and asked if I would enjoy receiving a chess board,” said Roy, “They knew I liked chess, and they knew I liked comic books, so they put them together.”

After approaching Roy with the concept, the students went to metal shop  teacher Mr. Anthony Verga and proposed the idea. “The students asked me about making a board for Mr. Roy,” said Verga, “They referred to him as the best teacher in the school.”

The board is made of solid P6 6061 Aluminum, and has been in the works for approximately “a month and a half,” according to Verga.

The board’s comic book theme also comes at a great time, in the wake of popular superhero movies such as and Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers which has a sequel releasing next spring.

Mr. Roy himself has been involved with the project, providing insight on the comic characters used, ensuring the accuracy of their depiction. “They approached me with designs, and asked me about icons, but I did not have any hand in actually making it. More of a consultant.” said Roy.

The Chess Team students are equally excited about the project. Shannon Kelly was happy for the new board, especially with it being more solid and sturdy than the plastic boards that the team plays on now.

“It could help,” said Kelley. “Maybe we could use the plastic boards that we have now for practice, and bring more solid boards to our meets [with other schools]”

There are many students at G.H.S. who play chess in their spare time, and player Hannah Pastagal hopes the new board will help other hands-on programs, such as the cabinet-making class she is enrolled in, to get more involved in other programs.

 “I think it’s kinda cool to cross extra-curriculars,” said Pastagal. “Especially since we aren’t well known.”

“It’s showcased in my room, so all the students can come in see it, and just about everyone has asked questions about it, which allows me to talk about both the chess team and comic book club,” said Roy.  “For PR, it’s been great.”

Mr. Verga expects the board to increase recognition for metal shop as well. ”

A lot of people are going to ask us to make them things,” He joked, Maybe it will get kids interested in our program. We’ll have to wait and see.”