School’s out, but fun’s not

Summer programs have started up through Marshall Community Ed

Photo by Deb Gau Martin Popowski (second from right) led a wire sculpture class at Marshall High School earlier this week. The art class is one of several being offered through Marshall Community Services this summer.


It was mid-June, and classes were in session this week at Marshall High School. These weren’t the kind of classes you got graded on, however — these were strictly for fun. In the art classroom, a group of area kids were learning how to turn pieces of fence wire and stretchy stockings into colorful sculptures.

“So first, I have these wires,” said instructor Martin Popowski, as he handed out supplies to the group. “You just twist ’em, and make them into whatever shape you want.”

Popowski helped the kids anchor the twisty wires to wooden blocks. Then, he said, you stretch a stocking or pantyhose over the whole thing. The wire acts like a frame to hold up the shape of the sculpture.

“It feels weird,” one student said of their twisty creation.

“It’s like a trampoline,” agreed Astrid Snyder.

At the same time the art students were getting their sculptures into shape, other area kids just down the hall were engineering their own race cars using Lego bricks. The group started the week out building push-powered cars, and now they had advanced to wind power.

Braylon Oey set his Lego car down on the floor in front of a fan. Like everyone’s creations that day, the car was sporting a homemade paper sail. He turned the fan on … but the car didn’t budge.

“It looks like you’ve got some friction there. The wheels aren’t turning,” said instructor Kelly Schuerman. Schuerman helped Oey make some adjustments to the wheels, so his car could race with the wind.

Schuerman said the class was going to try other ways to power their cars.

“Tomorrow we’re going to do rubber band wind-up cars,” he said.

Summer community education classes and recreation activities kicked off in Marshall this month. Fun kids’ classes on topics like arts and crafts, cooking, building with Legos and even public speaking and archery will be held through June and July.

“It’s going well,” Community Education Coordinator Amanda Beckler said of participation in community education programs this summer. Some of the classes and programs being offered through MCS are proving popular, she said. “We try to offer multiple times,” to allow more kids to sign up.

Some of the classes offered this month, like the SMSU Children’s Theater workshop, have drawn dozens of kids, Beckler said. Archery classes have filled up as well.

Community education activities bring together a variety of community instructors, as well as Marshall schools and educators, Beckler said.

Popowski, an area resident and a student at South Dakota State University, is teaching several different art classes over the summer — including the wire sculptures the kids were working on Tuesday.

The sculptures could look however you wanted them to, and Popowski’s group of students definitely had some ideas of what their creations looked like.

“That one looks like a smiley face,” Cora Maxwell said, looking at classmates’ sculptures. “And yours looks kind of like a slide.”

Popowski said the finishing touch for the wire sculptures would be to paint them — but first the stretchy fabric “skin” of the sculptures had to be prepared, so the paint wouldn’t soak right through.

“We’re going to paint (the sculptures) with glue first,” Popowski said.

“Yay!” came the class’ response.

Things were going to get sticky.

More information on summer community education classes is available through Marshall Community Services, and online at Online registration is available for MCS classes and activities.