DCS senior welding student Mason Hack completes CTE project with “pizza-zaz”

two male teenagers stand outside in a parking lot next to a grill
DCS senior Mason Hack and classmate Connor Dottino, a senior from Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, recently completed their wood-fired pizza oven capstone project for their welding and fabrication class at Capital Region BOCES’ Career and Technical Education Center.

What do you do on the afternoon before spring recess if you are welding students who just fabricated a pizza oven from scratch? You make pizzas of course! 

DCS senior Mason Hack attends Capital Region BOCES’ Career and Technical Education Center in Albany where he studies welding and metal fabrication. Just before spring break, Hack and fellow CTE classmate Connor Dottino (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk senior) prepared pizzas for classmates using an outdoor pizza oven that they fabricated!

a wood-fired pizza ovenThe functioning, wood-fired oven is the culmination of their capstone project in which the pair designed the product, developed a blueprint, created a PowerPoint detailing what they were going to do, presented that to their classmates and finally built the oven.

“It was fun to make, and it tested our skills, which was the goal, I guess,” said Hack.

“It was hard work, but it was a really fun project to make,” said Dottino, while serving up a pepperoni pizza with Hack, teacher Don Mattoon, teaching assistant Quinn Kosoc and classmates.

The entire project took three weeks of class time to complete, Dottino said, and contains more than $300 worth of materials, which explains the hefty price tags on commercially sold wood-fired outdoor pizza ovens.

Dottino, who purchased the thermometer and pizza stone for the oven, will bring the project home.

Mattoon said the work is a fine example of the program’s capstone project that every senior must complete. 

The projects demonstrate a student’s mastery of welding and incorporate all of the skills they learn during their two years in the class, including integrated English—hence the PowerPoint and class presentation of the project.

“These guys did a great job with this work,” Mattoon said.

two adults and two students stand outside near a pizza oven

a young man takes a finished pizza out of a wood-fired oven