From Left, Lori Hoppe, Gardiner High School Agriculture teacher looks on as students learn the art of welding (MTN news photo)
What does welding and agriculture have in common?
If you ask agriculture students at Gardiner High School they will tell you everything.
Agriculture education is fairly new to the school. This is the third year the program is offered.
As part of the agriculture welding program, these students are learning the art of metalwork.
The dual course enables them to get college credit through Gallatin College of Bozeman.
But to successfully complete the program, the students will need an extra bench grinder, not a common classroom item that most teachers would desire but this piece of equipment will help these students perfect their agriculture and metalwork skills.
The teacher said the one they currently use is not an efficient use of students’ time because her students often have to wait in line to use the equipment.
That's why agriculture teacher Lori Hoppe is this week's One Class at a Time recipient of a $300 grant from Q2 and First Interstate Bank.
“A lot of what they do is just learning the fundamentals. We are just doing lots of practices on scraps of metal or small pieces of metal,” said Hoppe.
Last Christmas the students worked on welding projects with horseshoes and gave them as gifts for the holidays.
“We will probably do it again this spring, possible for Mother’s Day. So right now the students are getting to keep what they create, but we’re going to look at some bigger community service projects where we are going to create a bin to recycle baling twine to get them out of the fields that wildlife gets entangled in,” said Hoppe.
Hoppe said metal work is a huge part of the agriculture industry, anything from the manufacturing of equipment on a large industrial scale to welding a pipe fence on a ranch or farm.
“It’s a skill you use on all different levels, but definitely a part of agriculture, especially in the manufacturing and repair circumstances," said Hoppe.
She said although none of her current students plan to pursue welding as a career, they want it as a skill for whatever career path they pursue after high school.
“They all have extreme interest in it and have just done really well this year,” she said.
If you know of a teacher with a great classroom idea and needs some extra funds, please let us know.
The application is available right here on our website under the community tab.
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