Sixteen students from Fond du Lac, Lomira, Mayville and Slinger high schools turned scrap metal into elaborate welded creations during Moraine Park Technical College’s 12th Annual Junkyard Challenge on the Fond du Lac campus. The students, who competed in teams, were challenged to create sculptures within the theme of construction. The teams were supervised by Moraine Park Welding Instructor Jeff Beach, and they did a remarkable job turning scrap metal into cranes, excavators and diggers.
Students from Fond du Lac High School came in first place with their bulldozer at Moraine Park Technical College’s 12th Annual Junkyard Challenge. Team members included (from left): Instructor Eric Ciha, Jackson Schuelke, Nate Lobajeski, Nick Immel and Noah Poss.
The projects were judged on originality, quality, complexity, team participation and safety. “The judging criteria is based on skills critical to success in the workplace, which is why they are emphasized in this competition,” said Beach. Judges included Marcia Arndt, associate dean of manufacturing at Moraine Park; Kevin Braeger, product manager at Marchant Schmidt, Inc.; and Scott Heim, corporate director of Inventory Control/Logistics at Metalcraft of Mayville, Inc.
Fond du Lac High School came in first place with their bulldozer. Team members included: Noah Poss and Nick Immel, both seniors; Nate Lobajeski, junior; and Jackson Schuelke, sophmore. Immel, who competed in the challenge once before, said they had an idea in mind and did some planning before the competition. “We wanted to make everything moveable,” he said. “Mobility and uniqueness are ways to earn more points.”
In second place, with a sandbox digger, were sophomores Brandon Hull, Austen Steger, and Brandon Magdic and senior, Nate Schuett, from Mayville High School. “They were pretty fired up about the competition, and they did a nice job, especially with it being their first time in the competition,” said Dave Seiler, Mayville’s technical education instructor.
Students from Lomira High School took third place with their crane. Team members included Dustin Wondra, Tony Valle, Mitch Gariety and Mitchell Priest, all seniors. “We came here thinking we would build an excavator but, once we saw the round stock we could use, we decided it would make a good arm for a crane,” said Priest.
Slinger High School students came in fourth place after welding an excavator for the competition. Team members included: Dustin Swim, Senior; Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Allen Wesp, both juniors; and R.J. Schmidt, freshman. Kiley-Schaefer said, “The fact that everything was laid out in random spots and then you had to find the pieces to put together, made the competition fun and challenging.” The students plan on displaying the project in their classroom.
“When you get into the workplace, welders who can brainstorm, give good ideas and suggestions are needed,” said Heim to the students after the competition. “Our welders are a huge part of our team, and we look to them to work with our engineers.”
For more information about Moraine Park’s Welding and Metal Fabrication programs, visit morainepark.edu/welding.