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Catching Up with EAHS Engineering Design & Development Students

A couple of weeks ago, Mike Reader had visited the Engineering Design and Development (EDD) class at Elkhorn Area High School (EAHS). The EDD class is part of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum, and he had presented the students with a check in support of their trips to Washington, D.C., and Madison, where they planned to showcase their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects and inventions.

Pictured from left to right: EAHS Assistant Principal Dan Kiel, Sarah Rychlak, Julia Los, Allison Schopf, Senator Tammy Baldwin, EAHS teacher Deanna Brunlinger, Matt Engelbrecht, and Jack Flitcroft.

The students’ trip to Washington, D.C., in mid-March included showing off their projects on Capitol Hill, in an event hosted by the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE). The event was attended by Senate Co-Chairs of the ACTE – Senators Tim Kaine, Rob Portman, Todd Young, and Tammy Baldwin, as well as Ed Dennis, Government Relations Director of Project Lead the Way (PLTW). EAHS assistant principal Dan Kiel and science teacher Deanna Brunlinger accompanied the students.

EAHS students Matthew Engelbrecht and Jack Flitcroft presented the hydrogen fuel cell engineering project they have been designing. Part of the assignment guidelines include identifying a real-world challenge, and they sought to find an alternative to the lithium battery. Engelbrecht and Flitcroft decided on a hydrogen fuel cell due to it being more efficient, more environmentally efficient, and safe.

Originally, the plan was to see if they could generate enough power via hydrogen fuel cell to lift a drone off the ground. However, the project partners are excited for the future of hydrogen energy beyond their PLTW class, imagining homes completely powered by hydrogen.

EDD student Jack Flitcroft explaining the hydrogen fuel cell design to Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Another group of EAHS students presented a public service announcement on concussions at the STEM showcase in Washington D.C. Julia Los, Allison Schopf, and Sarah Rychlak demonstrated using a Styrofoam head and a swim cap with the parts of the brain mapped out. Once again, the students identified a challenge in the real world and used problem-solving skills as a team.

The EAHS students were also able to present their projects earlier this month in Madison, in the Capitol Rotunda. They joined students from all over the state, ranging from elementary through high school, as they displayed their projects for elected officials and other passers-by.

Supporting STEM education is a critical focus for Precision Plus, and we understand its importance for the future of the next generations and of our nation’s economy. We plan to continue supporting programs and events like these that help to educate and inspire our future engineers and manufacturers.

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