Newport middle schoolers feeling charitable following year of hands-on learning

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NEWPORT, Maine (WABI) - There are some people that are better suited to learn through a hands on approach..

And it's that exact approach that a teacher in Newport is taking.

TV5 stopped by Sebasticook Valley Middle School to learn more about what students have built..

And who they are giving it to.

Keith Kelley's Integrated Technology classroom is unlike others in the school.

"We have music for musicians and we have art for artists," said Kelley. "And then you have writing for English. We have a lot of that stuff. But the kid who can design and build and create we kind of haven't had that."

Working with 5th through 8th graders - he advances the curriculum as the kids advance through grades..

"We go from teamwork to production to communication to prototyping."

8th grader Courtney Wheaton explained "We've done skateboards, we've done Legos, we've done boats. We've done a little bit of everything."

"It's a lot of hands-on," added classmate Isis Welch. "It's more like you're up and out of your seat doing everything else."

"I have definitely learned a lot over the process," said Rylee Melanson.

"A kid that has trouble with the reading and the writing and stuff in their lives they are figuring it out all the time," said Kelley. "So, when they come to me and we're actually figuring out - they are actually better at it because they're not used to having the directions or following the game of school - where the teacher tells you what to do and you do it. They have to figure it out. So, if I say here's the thing... they'll come back and they'll have figured it out and done it."

"Makes it fun because you don't have to do it exactly the same," said 5th grader Ashlyn Bowie. "If you get it wrong or right, it's like it's your own thing."

With a week left in school they are nearing finishing. A couple of those projects are bound for a good cause. They are donating a few skateboards to the Travis Mills Foundation to be sold at auction... along with a guitar..

"Guitar project is just a higher level," said Kelley. "It's taking multiple things and bringing it together. You do a little woodworking. You do a little machining like soldering. You do the design, so, it's not just one part it's all together."

"It's a really big step because they came up from like nothing," said Isis. "We came all this way and I'm not close, yet but it's pretty good so far."

"Feels really good because, I didn't think I'd be able to do it so, now that I've almost completed it it's cool to see that I could actually do it," added Rylee.