Page 1 - TTMNSpring2024
P. 1


                                                                                                                              Spring 2024
                                                 MINNESOTA’S K–12 EDUCATION CONNECTIONTODAY                                     MN                ™

                       Otter Tale                                               Bees, Produce, and Décor

                       County & High School                                     Program Honored for Innovation

                       Collaborate on Welding Project

                                                         who  enlisted  the  talents  of
                                                         Micaiah Abramson, a soph-
                                                         omore  student,  to  bring  the
                                                         concept  to  life.  Abramson   Wadena Area Learning Center
                                                         enthusiastically   accepted   Freshwater Education District
                                                         the  challenge  and  began   Freshwater  Education  Dis-
                                                         working on the mockup.  trict  —  Wadena Area  Learning
                                                            Abramson   reviewed   Center   (WALC)   Mid-Level
                                                         Palmersheim’s   handwrit-  Program  is  an  experiential
                                                         ten  mock-up  and  used   program that has since its incep-
                                                         scrap  pieces  of  metal  from   tion  been  a  classroom  that
                                                         the  KHS  welding  shop  to   provided  hands-on  learning  for
                                                         weld  the  prototype.  Once   students who needed a nontradi-
                                                         he  was  satisfied  with  the   tional way to learn. Students are
                                                         mockup, he began to create.   at  risk  of  not  graduating  from  11  different   pay for expenses and grow the experiences.
                                                         Using  advanced  welding   school  districts  in  rural,  central  Minnesota   The variety of activities that are part of the
                                                         techniques, Abramson dedi-  and  the  student  population  is  nearly  100%   Bees,  Produce,  and  Decor  program  results
                                                         cated  over  forty-five  hours   qualified for free and reduced meals. Many   in almost every student finding their fit and
            The Otter Tail County Highway Depart-  to meticulously crafting the Culvert Grapple   of  their  students  have  lived  through  and   engaging somehow in the program.
        ment’s  Ditch  and  Drainage  Inspector,  Colby   Hook. The final product features a heavy-duty   experienced more than they should have to   “The classroom finally feels like a safe
        Palmersheim,  joined  forces  with  the  Fergus   post with retractable fins that can be connected   at their age.  place  to  learn  and  to  even  fail.  Students
        Falls  Kennedy  High  School  (KHS)  welding   to a winch-powered mechanism used to clear   The  staff  is  small,  but  their  passion   learn that a failed idea is just another oppor-
        class.  Together,  they  launched  Otter  Tail   culverts of various sizes.  for their students is big. When you visit the   tunity to learn. It is a way to teach students
        County’s  Culvert  Grapple  Hook  innovation,   Reflecting on his experience, Abramson   Wadena Area Learning Center, you quickly   to  advocate  for  themselves  and  their  ideas,
        a  winch-powered  tool  to  clean  out  culverts.   shared,  “I  had  finished  my  project,  and  Mr.   catch  that  respect  goes  both  ways  —  from   to  connect  with  the  curriculum,  and  enjoy
        With  a  grant  from  the  University  of  Minne-  Wutzke asked if I would like to make a culvert   the staff to the students and from the students   success in school. Our students have strong
        sota  Local  Operational  Research  Assistance   cleaner tool for the County. I had to make a   to the staff. In this unique learning environ-  personalities, and we want them to use them
        (OPERA)  Program,  the  County  was  able  to   few  adjustments,  add  to  the  post,  and  weld   ment,  the  traditional  classroom  experience   to be successful as adults in our community,”
        purchase  a  winch  to  power  the  hook.  This   two hooks at the top of the design that weren’t   wasn’t going to do, so the staff got creative.  says  Heidi  Heino  at  Freshwater  Education
        collaborative effort has resulted in an innova-  included in the original design. It was a fun   Bees, Produce, and Decor was created   District.
        tive solution that saves time, enhances worker   project.”              over time with support of their district, local   Students learn business and technology
        safety and highlights the talent of local youth.  Palmersheim  and  Abramson  recently   community, and grant dollars. The program   skills, see firsthand how climate affects plant
            Palmersheim’s   idea   addressed   the   tested  the  hook  in  a  mock  demonstration.   started  with  a  hive  of  bees  which  quickly   and bee growth and gain experience creating
        challenge  of  clearing  clogged  culverts,  par-  Branches were stuffed into two different-sized   turned  into  growing  flowers  for  the  bees   their own business where they can be their
        ticularly  those  located  beyond  the  reach   culverts, and the hook was connected to the   and  building  products  in  the  woodshop.   own  boss.  They  embed  the  understanding
        of  conventional  equipment.  The  challenge   winch on a pickup truck. The hook pulled all   The students run the program as a revenue-  of  the  importance  of  being  a  part  of  their
        of  welding  inspired  a  partnership  with  Mr.                        generating-business,  where  all  revenue  is
        Dennis Wutzke, the welding teacher at KHS,        Continued on Page 6   invested  back  into  the  program  to  grow    Continued on Page 22

                         thank you to our advertisers for your generous support!

                  Northland Community and Technical College • Hamline University • UW Madison, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
          North Dakota State College of Science • South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences • Metal Craft/Riverside
            St. Cloud State University College of Science and Engineering • Herold Precision Metals Manufacturing • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
                           North Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources • Ziegler Ag Equipment
              Southwest Minnesota State University, International Wolf Center • Hamline University Summer Physics Camps • Kwik Trip • Augsburg University
   1   2   3   4   5   6