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A hands-on lesson

POSTED: April 14, 2011 7:03 p.m.
Photo by Calli Arnold/

Russ Hillman is building this 14-feet long kayak in his classroom.

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Russ Hillman is building his eighth kayak with his architectural drawing and design class at the Effingham Career Academy to show them that if they can draw it, they can build it.

This incarnation is two weeks away from completion, and Hillman intends to test it himself at Baker’s Pond in Springfield. The kayak is 14 feet long, made from plywood and the materials cost $150.

His past kayaks have been raffled, burnt and/or stored.

Hillman said he got the idea to build kayaks from similar high school build competitions and has plans for his students to draft and build a motor boat.

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