HANCOCK — With the holidays right around the corner, Hancock Middle and High School students are keeping busy and preparing to supply local retailers with gift ideas that are Upper Peninsula favorites.

I’m not sure what Santa’s little helpers are doing, but here at Hancock Middle School, Gary Mishica’s students are busy making holiday gifts that will make their way to area gift shops, then under the Christmas tree, and eventually on walls and fireplaces across the state.

“We sell copper art of five different sizes that people can purchase and obviously give them out as gifts. The community has really shown their appreciation for the quality of our work and we’ve been selling probably about 250 U.P.s a year of the various sizes. So the money that we raise through the building of these U.P.s is all used to keep our program running,” said Mishica.

Mishica said the copper art generates between $8,000 and $9,000 annually, and that money gets put back into the shop program, allowing students to have more resources than what’s allocated by the district.

“We drop a shot put onto the backs of our copper and steel to make the three dimensional image of the U.P. and people say ‘How do you do that?’ And it’s kind of our little trademark. It gives the kids just an opportunity to do something different,” said Mischica.

The copper U.P. art can be purchased at the Quincy Mine gift shop, Surplus Outlet, Campionis True Value in Calumet and also at Hancock High School.