ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Schools & Students published May 24, 2022

News about educational achievements among students from west central Minnesota.

Stock image of math symbols, drawings on a chalkboard
We are part of The Trust Project.

Ridgewater College SkillsFest

WILLMAR — For the second year, regional high schools tested their technical skills during a distant version of the annual Ridgewater College SkillsFest, a competition for students to test their technical skills in everything from welding to photography.

The event is usually hosted in February and attracts around 300 students, but the pandemic halted large group events for the second consecutive year.

In 2021, Ridgewater welding instructors took their technical challenges on the road to seven interested high schools. It was such a success, they repeated it in 2022.

The instructors visited area schools to give demonstrations and instructions, and also to distribute tacked together weldments for the competition. They also shared details about a new category involving building metal spears.

Each school selected up to three competitors in each category. The students had two weeks to perform a print reading test and complete the designated weldment.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ridgewater faculty then collected the projects for judging by Ridgewater welding students.

More than 60 students participated this year, twice as many as 2021, from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Eden Valley-Watkins, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, New London-Spicer, Sauk Centre and Willmar.

The first-place winners received a $1,000 Ridgewater College Foundation scholarship.

Following are the top three in each type of welding:

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW, mig/wire): (1) David Thaden, Willmar (2) Brady Schwinghammer, BBE (3) Hayden Larson, NLS.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW, Tig): (1) Hunter Melby, NLS (2) Sam Gabrielson, NLS (3) Ryan Kulman, Willmar.

Stick Metal Arc Welding (SMAW): (1) Aiden Peterson, Willmar (2) Tyler Olsen, NLS (3) Alec Larson, NLS.

Spear Building: (1) Myles Macik, NLS (2) Connor Danielson, ACGC (3) Colby Renne, ACGC.

ADVERTISEMENT

The West Central Chapter of the Minnesota Darkhouse and Angling Association sponsored the new spear-building competition. President Loren Hjelle, a retired Ridgewater welding instructor of 31 years, said it was great to pilot this new spear activity.

“If a kid makes a spear, maybe he’ll want to use it. ... We’ll definitely offer this category again.”

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at dmiddleton@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4341.
What to read next
The installation of new streetlights continues in downtown Willmar on Wednesday.
Members Only
In February, the news broke that Mayo Clinic would not treat patients covered by UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage insurance plan. The two Minnesota health care giants have now “reached an agreement on a new, multi-year network relationship.”
Thanks to federal pandemic aid, Willmar's summer school has been able to offer experiences for students in addition to their academic classes. School officials say experiences offer students a chance to get to learn about their community and expand their vocabulary.
Thanks to federal pandemic aid, Willmar's summer school has been able to offer experiences for students in addition to their academic classes. School officials say experiences offer students a chance to get to learn about their community and expand their vocabulary.