OttawaCath-automotive-crucifix-CROPFrom the Ottawa Catholic School Board

All Saints has a new crucifix in the Transportation Technology classroom. As a means of incorporating Catholic education in daily work and reminding students to keep Christ in their daily lives, Mr. Bujaki’s Grade 12 Transportation Technology class were given a distinctive Rich Summative Task (RST) last spring.

The year-end project is made up of several elements, each designed to help evaluate the students’ learning in all of the vehicle systems and other key components of the course. One section of the RST requires students to perform a safety inspection on a selected vehicle. Since the grade 12 course also has a large unit on welding, the students were given the task of designing and building a crucifix that would be attached to the wall of the classroom. This crucifix would be built with leftover auto parts from vehicles that had recently been repaired during the term.

Students decided that this crucifix should be large enough to be the focal point of the class. After all, bigger is better! Using two front axles from a 1999 Dodge Caravan, a disc or rotor from the brakes of a 2005 Hyundai Sonata, part of a coil spring from a 1964 Pontiac Parisienne and leftover tracks from an overhead garage door, students designed a nine foot crucifix. Each student helped in the design and layout of the project. There was a strong emphasis on consensus and team building. We were, after all, working to build the body of Christ.

Students used a metal chop saw to cut the pieces to the correct dimensions. Then using Oxy-Acetylene torches for cutting and welding, MIG (metal inert gas) and Arc (stick) welders for fabrication, the students turned their design into a three dimensional representation of our Lord’s greatest sacrifice.

Students used sanders and grinders to clean up the welds and remove any imperfections. The crucifix was then painted with black Tremclad paint to provide a contrast against the light coloured walls of the classroom. The final touch of red Tremclad paint was used to highlight our Lord’s five scars and the words on the sign above His head, INRI, signifying Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews).

With the permission of the administration, the students drilled holes in the brick wall of the classroom and then attached the nine foot high crucifix with lead anchors and bolts. This was necessary since the completed crucifix weighs about forty kilograms.

The final touch was the Blessing ceremony. Mr. Bujaki with the students of the class and the Vice Principals, John Stewart and Bob Garnett, were led by the Chaplaincy Leader, Lindsay Moore, in a blessing and prayer. Students expressed great pleasure in finding a way of including Christ in their favourite course of study.