(from Robert's Eagle Write-up)
The purpose of my project was to lead a team to
build a bench around a tree at Walter Hays
Elementary School. I selected this project
because I went to elementary school at Walter
Hays and wanted to give back to the school.
This project benefits Walter Hays because it
gives parents and students somewhere to sit in
a pleasant place. It will also be used by Mrs.
Lindsay, a fourth grade teacher, as a spot for
outdoor teaching. I met with the principal of
Walter Hays, Ms. Carol Piraino, to select this
project. I used Mr. Elliott Sopkin’s wood shop
to cut most of my wood.
Early on, I considered interviewing veterans
for my Eagle Project, much like Jack Eastburn’s
Eagle Project. However, after many hours of
research, I decided that I would rather have
a project that I could come back to years later
and look at. I felt that once I turned my veterans’
tapes into the National Archives, I would not see
them again. I preferred to have a physical object I
could come back to ten or twenty years from now, and
say “I built that”. I then decided to talk to Ms.
Piraino, the principal of Walter Hays Elementary School.
I asked her what the school needed. She talked to the
teachers about ideas, but the idea I liked best was
proposed by my sister Lucy’s fourth grade teacher,
Mrs. Lindsay. She wanted to have a bench built around
a tree near her classroom. She could use it as
an outside classroom, and its proximity to
her planter boxes was a bonus.
Once I decided to build a bench, I went over to Jordan
Middle School, where there was a bench built around
a tree of almost the same size. I measured the bench,
and lengthened the seat to accommodate the bigger
tree at Walter Hays. I drew up diagrams for it
and bought lumber.
In order to raise funds for this project, I asked
Ms. Piraino if Walter Hays would fund the project.
She promised to pay for half of the expenses. To
cover the rest of the expenses, I decided to
hold several car washes in the Palo Alto High
School parking lot. However, they already had
people doing car washes during the summer time,
so I decided to do the car washes later. I am
currently not sure what I will do to raise money.
I borrowed a drill from Mr. Rajiv Bhateja, two
cordless drills from Mr. Dan DeCamp, and I used
Mr. Sopkin’s workshop to cut the wood. Most
stores I bought materials from gave me an employee
discount because I was doing an Eagle Project. In
order to get volunteers, I would call people the
night before each work day and ask them to volunteer.
1525 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94301