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Grand Haven students help firefighters with gear efficiency

Posted at 7:15 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 07:46:17-05

GRAND HAVEN — A program within Grand Haven's school district is encouraging elementary school students to think creatively through project-based learning.

The latest project students worked on was aimed at solving an issue firefighters face on a regular basis.

One issue firefighters face regularly is keeping their gear dry after each fire event. The Homegrown Program is working to help resolve the problem.

"Each teacher had their students broken up into maybe three or four groups, depending on the class size," said Andrew Ratke, GHAPS STEM teacher. "Then each group kinda worked through the art we called the creative sequence or design thinking they worked through that process, and came up with with what they thought would be the best, best way to dry the gear more efficiently."

The students pitched their drying ideas to the firefighters and reviewed what they thought would ultimately work.

"It was kind of interesting," said. Captain Shawn Schrader of Grand Haven Township Fire. "Not knowing anything about the business, the designs, they came up with, mirrored some of the industrial designs that are already out there."