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Tech Center Masonry Program Receives Grant for Reef Ball Construction Project

Masonry students and teacher Mike Campanile at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center have been awarded a Better Together Community Impact Grant in the amount of $5,000 from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.

The Better Together grant program provides funding to support the planning and implementation of student-led projects that apply skilled trades knowledge and skills to address a community need or problem. The aim of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is to challenge and empower students, who with the support of their teachers, can make a positive difference in their community and in themselves.

The grant will be used to support the Masonry program’s reef ball construction project. Students are building and casting concrete reef balls using forms supplied by the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland (CCAMD) and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) to create artificial reefs to revitalize the dwindling oyster population in Maryland’s local salt and fresh waters. Students assemble the 51-piece (each) forms, hand mix 3,000 PSI concrete, and cast two per day. The next day, they strip each form and move the new reef balls to storage for the CCAMD to haul to Annapolis before being set onto ships for their spot in local Maryland waters. Students are working to produce 90 reef balls by April 15, 2022.

The project introduces students to concrete mixing and ratios to make certain PSI strengths and gives them an opportunity to make something permanent that has direct positive impact on our environment. Students also may learn service-learning hours.