Four high school teams squared off to produce the best functional welded creation from scrap metal during the 7th annual Junkyard Challenge held at Moraine Park Technical College’s Beaver Dam campus.
Supervised by Moraine Park welding instructors Jeremiah Johnson and Gary Watry, teams from Beaver Dam, Waupun, Wautoma and West Bend high schools were challenged to create sculptures in the theme of “Functional Machines,” displaying both movement and creativity. The projects were judged by representatives from area welding companies.
First place went to the Wautoma High School team of juniors Joshua Lang and Mike Voda and seniors Nathan Michalski and Daniel Schruck, who were accompanied by Fox Valley Technical College welding instructor Basil Wilber. The team made a tall catapult that successfully launched an object across the outdoor courtyard.
Team members agreed it was a fun event. “It’s cool to see what other people’s ideas are for the same project,” said Voda.
Wilber said the Junkyard Challenge teaches the students about teamwork and real-life situations. “They are doing well and are very safety-conscious,” he said during the competition.
The Wautoma team was presented with the winning trophy, an elaborate sculpture also made from scrap metal that was welded by Jeremiah Johnson.
Beaver Dam High School came in second with their excavator, formed partly from an old child’s bicycle. The team consisted of juniors Cole Nanney, Dakota Neff, Dustin Pritchard and Mitch Schultz.
“The students were excited and looking forward to the challenge,” said metals instructor Mark Boehmer, adding that the event taught them about collaboration through teamwork and competing against students with the same skills.
A grill made by the West Bend High School team of seniors Bob Hoene, Spencer Hubfer and Tony Stockhausen took third place. They were accompanied by instructor Kim Benson, who noted the team did well in working together and coming up with ideas.
The Waupun High School team’s windmill came in fourth. It was constructed by seniors Kyle Deboer, Matt Donovan, Branden Lynch and Adam Possin. Welding instructor Roger Frye supervised the team and said his students had a blast. “It brings day-to-day activities in the classroom into a practical situation,” he noted.
Possin said the Junkyard Challenge was “good experience” and he enjoyed it.
“It helps out with group teamwork and leadership skills,” said Donovan.
For more information about Moraine Park’s Welding and Metal Fabrication programs, visit morainepark.edu/programs or call an outreach specialist at 1-800-472-4554.