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Simmons’ Builders

Seniors+Jessica+Lepp%2C+Terri+Tran%2C+Juila+Steffy%2C+and+Nick+Laugen+work+on+building+a+3-D+puzzle+of+the+British+Chamber+of+Congress+before+school+in+history+teacher+Vita+Simmons%27+room.+They+began+working+on+this+puzzle+two+weeks+before+winter+break+started+and+it+is+almost+completed.+
Seniors Jessica Lepp, Terri Tran, Juila Steffy, and Nick Laugen work on building a 3-D puzzle of the British Chamber of Congress before school in history teacher Vita Simmons' room. They began working on this puzzle two weeks before winter break started and it is almost completed.

Seniors Jessica Lepp, Terri Tran, Juila Steffy, and Nick Laugen work on building a 3-D puzzle of the British Chamber of Congress before school in history teacher Vita Simmons' room. They began working on this puzzle two weeks before winter break started and it is almost completed.

Photo provided by: Emily LaMontagne

Photo provided by: Emily LaMontagne

Seniors Jessica Lepp, Terri Tran, Juila Steffy, and Nick Laugen work on building a 3-D puzzle of the British Chamber of Congress before school in history teacher Vita Simmons' room. They began working on this puzzle two weeks before winter break started and it is almost completed.

Emily LaMontagne, Web Editor-in-Chief

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It is 6:30 a.m. and seniors Jessica Lepp, Terri Tran, Juila Steffy, and Nick Laugen are already at school, busy at work. These students get an early start in order to work on building a 950 piece 3-D puzzle of the British Chamber of Congress. Lepp, student assistant of history teacher Vita Simmons, was the first to begin working on the puzzle, but when she realized the size and difficulty of the project, she recruited Tran, Steffy, and Laugen to help her.

“This puzzle has been sitting in the student assistant cabinet for many years,” Lepp said. “Mrs. Simmons told me that she got it as a present a few years back and just never put it together. I have never done something like this, so it’s a completely new experience.”

The seniors began working on the structure two weeks before winter break. While the model is close to being finished, it has been a difficult process. The directions were not in English, so the group was forced to figure it out as they go. There were also numerous“throw away” pieces that were not supposed to be used in the puzzle, but were not able to be removed by the manufactures. It took the group two days to figure out and separate which pieces were “throw away” pieces.

“The instructions to build the puzzle are a puzzle in itself,” Tran said. “As frustrating as it can be, working on the puzzle gives me a chance to hang out and work on something before school. That’s something I’m going to seriously miss when I graduate.”

The process of building this puzzle was to first build the cardboard structure. Then the group worked on putting together the base of the puzzle and progressed on to building up the sides of the puzzle to create the 3-D structure. Once all the pieces are placed, the group plans on gluing everything together in order to stabilize the structure. This puzzle is one of the numerous creative tasks Simmons asks her students to complete in order to decorate her room.

“They are seniors, so this could give them a sense of finality,” Simmons said. “I am going to be putting it on display, so it could also give them a sense of history because it’s going to be up there for a long time.”

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