8th grade students at Dedham School build bike jump with help from community

After a $3,000 grant from the Maine Mountain Bike Trail Fund and a little help along the way, it all came to fruition on Memorial Day Weekend.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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DEDHAM, Maine (WABI) - There’s a new addition to the trails by the Dedham School thanks to two eighth graders with a bright idea.

“Our PE teacher, Mr. Pearson, asked me if I could maybe do something with the trails for GT, and I thought that was a cool idea. So, I asked Mrs. Wright if we could build a jump or start trying to design one, and she said, yeah, it just kind of kept building on from there,” said eighth grader Oran Saar.

Patti Currie-Wright teaches students in the school’s gifted and talented program.

She says she does project based learning experiences each year, and the bike jump was a perfect project to tackle.

“They researched tools that were needed for trail development, developed budgets, reached out to local community members to get letters of support, letters of permission from the town. So, it was a whole array of different things that they did. So, beyond the basic math, we moved into a community service project,” Currie-Wright said.

Saar and Aiden Shulman got to work on the bike jump at the beginning of the school year.

After a $3,000 grant from the Maine Mountain Bike Trail Fund and a little community support, it all came to fruition on Memorial Day Weekend.

“We were fortunate to have a bunch of people volunteer to come help us build the jump, and we had supplies, we had someone help us build the jump. So, we had screwdrivers and supplies and then he showed us how he made the plan,” Shulman said.

Currie-Wright says the skills they’ve gained from this project will stay with them in whatever lies ahead.

“I think that whole engineering, you start with an idea and you move through, you try something, it doesn’t maybe work, and you try something else. That’s life. And I think those are the skills that they’re going to need as they move forward into high school and beyond,” Currie-Wright said.

Now, the bike jump is up and ready for use for years to come.

The boys say they hope other students will be inspired to do the same.

“I just hope they take away that they can change the school for the better,” Shulman said.

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