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4 | Transportation Today Wisconsin™                                                       Online Edition:

                   Cudahy High School Junior Takes on Impressive Welding Project

                                                                                manship,  Dakota  worked  on  refurbishing   curricular activities at Cudahy High School,
                                                                                a  corroded  work  truck  owned  by  another   including jazz band, track and field, power-
                                                                                teacher, who uses it for his summer concrete   lifting, and theater. Her involvement in such
                                                                                pouring business.                  a  diverse  range  of  activities  highlights  the
                                                                                   Mr.  Backes,  recognizing  Dakota’s   school’s  commitment  to  offering  a  broad
                                                                                exceptional talents, did not hesitate to choose   spectrum of opportunities to its students.
                                                                                her for this significant task. Dakota, thrilled   Dakota  Schroeder  stands  as  a  shining
                                                                                by  the  opportunity,  credits  her  confidence   example  of  how  Cudahy  High  School  not
                                                                                and  skills  to  the  support  and  encourage-  only encourages its students to explore their
                                                                                ment she has received from Mr. Backes. The   passions  but  also  prepares  them  for  life
                                                                                project  involves  meticulous  work,  includ-  beyond  high  school.  Her  story  is  an  inspi-
                                                                                ing sanding down the truck’s paint and tack   ration  to  her  peers  and  a  testament  to  the
                                                                                welding large pieces of sheet metal.  dedication and skill fostered within the walls
                                                                                   This  endeavor  is  not  Dakota’s  first   of Cudahy High School.
                                                                                foray into the world of metalwork. Over the
                                                                                past few years, she has crafted various metal
                                                                                items,  selling  them  for  a  total  of  around
                                                                                $200. Her ambition and skill have not gone
                                                                                unnoticed, as she is currently in the process
                                                                                of interviewing for an internship, aiming to
                                                                                continue  this  professional  journey  through
        Clare Canfield                      junior  at  Cudahy  High  School,  took  on  a   her senior year. Dakota’s ultimate goal is to
        School District of Cudahy           challenging welding project under the guid-  become a full-time welder after graduation.
                                                                                   However,  Dakota’s  talents  and  inter-
            In  a  remarkable  display  of  skill  and   ance  of  her  Metals  teacher,  Mr.  Backes.   ests are not confined to welding alone. She
        dedication,  Dakota  Schroeder,  a  talented   Demonstrating an impressive level of crafts-
                                                                                is also an active participant in several extra-

        $3,000 in STEAM Grants Awarded to Three Area School Districts

            Three school districts in the Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) service area each received $1,000 in STEAM grants to be used for projects and initiatives related to science,
        technology, engineering, art, and math.
            The STEAM grants were introduced by CWEC in the second half of 2022 because the co-op values education and training and understands that classrooms may have limited funding to pursue
        the projects needed to educate students in local communities.
            School districts that received the initial grants are as follows.

                                                               project has students   school  thing.  Some  of  those  nights  we’d   The energy bike, which will consist of a pedal
                                                               designing,  fabricat-  be  here pretty close to midnight. Now  it’s  a   bike  to  power  a  generator,  will  provide  stu-
                                                               ing,  and  testing  a   class  we’re  trying  to  develop  as  we  go.  We   dents in the district a concrete example of how
                                                               small   one-person   design, we do the engineer’s design which is   electricity is produced.
                                                               vehicle with a focus   the process where we develop a prototype and   Chad Pritzl, high school science teacher
                                                               on  high  mileage   build a car out of PVC so we can see any errors   at Tigerton High School who is also oversee-
                                                               during various chal-  before we get to metal.”      ing the energy bike project, said he originally
                                                               lenge events around   Ploeger said the most useful skill students   got  the  idea  for  the  energy  bike  while  he
                                                               Wisconsin.       will learn from the project is problem-solving.  worked for a different school district.
                                                                  The     chal-    “No  matter  what  career  a  person  goes   “We  brought  it  to  school  as  a  demon-
                                                               lenge  events  are   into they will have to problem-solve,” Ploeger   stration  and  I  thought  it  was  a  really  neat
                                                               part  of  Challenge   said. “In the course of this project, there will   experience  for  the  students  to  see  the  work
                                                               uSA,  which  began   be  loads  of  problem-solving  and  with  that   required  to  produce  electricity,”  Pritzl  said.
                                                               in  the  early  2000s.   the  frustration  of  things  not  working  out  as   “That connection is lost I think. And this really
                                                               Ploeger  estimated   planned. The students will learn to plan, learn   brings it home.”
                                                               that  25–30  schools   from their mistakes, and make improvements   To  complete  the  project,  Pritzl  said  a
                                                               currently   partici-  to  the  vehicle. After  the  last  event,  students   variety  of  things  will  need  to  be  purchased,
        Bowler High School students Braydon Pukall, Tristan Thiex, Brady   pate  in  the  events,   will learn to reflect and determine what went   such as a generator, so the grant will help pay
        Strassburg, and Beau Brunner, who participate in Challenge USA, along   and  that  number  is   well and where improvements could be made.”  for those costs.
        with their advisor Timothy Ploeger, with a chassis they built for the   growing.   Ploeger                     In  addition  to  learning  about  how  elec-
        Super-Mileage Vehicle competitions they compete in.
                                                              said  the  project  is                               tricity  is  generated,  Pritzl  said  students  will
        Bowler High School                                    funded  by  solicit-          also learn about energy efficiency and energy
                                            ing sponsorships from area businesses, so the                          storage in batteries.
        Super-Mileage Vehicle               STEAM grant is appreciated.                                                Pritzl said he will use his science back-
            The  district  received  $551.84  for  a   “It will really help us out a lot. We can                   ground  and  team  with  Tim  Schmidt,  who
        super-mileage vehicle project. The project is   maybe get some new engines or batteries that  Tigerton School District  teaches Tech. Ed. at Tigerton High School, to
        a  student  activity  that  provides  various  edu-  need to be replaced, so that will go a long ways   Energy Bike  complete the project with students.
        cational venues in and outside the classroom,   towards that,” Ploeger said.  The  Tigerton  School  District  received   “Hopefully we can have a few students
        said Timothy Ploeger, project supervisor, and   “We  started  as  a  club  back  when  we   $1,000 for the construction of an energy bike.
        Tech. Ed. teacher at Bowler High School. The   first started it,” Ploeger said. “It was an after-                     Continued on Page 12
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