MANLY, Iowa - One North Iowa is school garnering gubernatorial recognition for the purchase of a really cool new machine.
Last semester, Central Springs High School received a $25,000 grant from the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grant from Monsanto to go towards the purchase of a virtual welding machine. It acts like the real thing, and can teach students the proper techniques for different types of metals and how to have a proper weld, while also measuring their progress in real time on a monitor. This week, Governor Kim Reynolds recognized the district for its efforts to invest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Caden Kelley has used the machine in class, and says it's helpful for those who want to take a shot at a career in welding.
"You're looking into little goggles instead of actually seeing something, but once you get used to it, you really figure out the placement of your hand to make a much better weld than what I would if I was just out there messing around."
He's also pleased with the Governor's recognition regarding the school's initiative, especially for equipment that is very useful in the classroom when it comes to his teacher.
"We only have so many welders out there, so it's also a great way to keep kids moving on projects. So he's now able to keep more kids in class and give them the opportunity to become better at their skills."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job field for welders is expected to grow at a rate of 6% until about 2026.