Students Build Coyotes to Keep Fields Clear

Justin Dalli remembers the first thing he ever built.  

“When I was about 10, I bolted wheels to a pallet and just drove it down a hill,” Justin, a Carmel High School sophomore, said. “I managed to not get hurt.” 

Justin is one of a group of creative woodshop students who built coyote silhouettes to help scare geese off Carmel Central School District fields.     

“I call them ‘the crew,’” said Technology Teacher Don Saldico. “These are the kids who come into the woodshop in their free time because they like to make things and fix things. They are a tremendous help to us.”  

The crew made the coyotes using the Computer Numerical Control machine, or CNC, in the woodshop classroom, said Don Saldico, a technology teacher. 

“You program a design into the CNC, and it will cut it for you,” Saldico said. “It takes a lot of math skills. You must choose the right bit and control the speed and depth of cutting. It took two or three tries to get it right, and a full sheet of plywood.” 

After the coyote shapes were cut, they were painted with a rubberized coating and attached to stakes that will support them on the playing fields.  

Luke Hansen, a senior who is studying welding, helped weld the stakes.   

Freshman Sean Ryan is new to the crew, but building things has been part of his life for as long as he can remember.  

“I built a chicken coop with my dad when I was four,” he said. “It’s still standing.”