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Staples-Motley middle-schoolers get hands on training

A flock of curious Staples-Motley middle schoolers landed at M. State-Wadena Friday afternoon for a hands-on learning session at the technical college.

In addition to wiring up receptacles, melding gas utility line pipe together, putting their backs into lifting a 180-pound dummy off the floor, checking out air conditioning units generating thousands of BTU’s and learning how to safely replace a fuse cut-out on an electrical line far over their heads, the boys and girls saw the inside of the M. State-Wadena building - just 17 miles up the road from Staples.

For some of the youngsters it was a taste of their future.

Sixth-grader Ramiro Gallardo was amazed.

“I never knew about all of these things,” he said.

“Exciting,” was the word Kaylee Birkholtz used to describe the visit to a place still six or seven years in the future for the Staples-Motley students. “It’s interesting to know if you want to do this when you’re older,” said the sixth-grader.

Enrollment Manager Shannon Britten was one of the M. State-Wadena staff members on hand.

“It’s a lot of information at once but the hands on demonstrations we have here are valuable for the younger students.”

Instructors and students helped to help the middle schoolers with their projects in class rooms like the big Electrical Lineworkers and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) Departments, the Electrical Technology Department and one of the newest of M. State-Wadena’s offerings - the Gas Utility Shop.