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Foundry in a box

I-S students learn about manufacturing

By Holly Neumann

During the annual Science Fair at Iola-Scandinavia Elementary School, several workers from Waupaca Foundry visited the school to give the students a hands-on presentation.

I-S students learned to make fidget spinners during a Foundry in the box presentation at school. Holly Neumann Photo

“We have done this for many years now and have made the same thing over and over with the students,” Amy Borchardt said. “This year, we changed it up a bit and made fidget spinners with the kids.”

With help from Perfect Patterns of Waupaca, who donated the patterns, students were able to take part in the demonstration and walk away with a casting they helped make.

“When we first decided to make fidget spinners, we were quoted that it would cost between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars to make eight patterns,” Borchardt said. “When we told Perfect Patterns that this was for the kids, they agreed to donate them. It gives me goose bumps knowing that a local company was willing to do this for the sake of the kids.”

Students put on safety glasses and gloves, helped put sand in the molds, watched them be poured and grinded and took home a fidget spinner they helped make.

“This was so much fun,” Keera Lewis said. “I am glad they came here to do this.”

“We made our own fidget spinners,” Kaitlin Olson said. “It was neat seeing how this works and it was messy, which made it a lot of fun.”

The hope is students learn more about the manufacturing process.

“There are so many things you can do,” Borchardt said. “There are so many things to learn. There is so much more than getting dirty. It is a process. It is very scientific, and there are a lot of good jobs.”

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