Industrial tech open house

Visitors to the Applied Technology Project Showcase at Ottumwa High School examine an American flag display. Thursday's showcase was an opportunity for metals and woods students to show off their award-winning projects from the Iowa Industrial Technology Expo at Southeast Polk High School.

OTTUMWA — There were some extra visitors to the Ottumwa High School metals lab over lunch Thursday.

It was part of the Applied Technology Project Showcase. Several students from the metals and woodworking programs took their projects to the Iowa Industrial Technology Expo May 10 at Southeast Polk High School, and the open house was a chance to display the award-winning items.

About a dozen projects were available for viewing. Brett Graham, metals instructor, said most of his students’ projects were from the advanced metals class made up of sophomores through seniors.

“All the metals projects, they had to come up with their own ideas. They had to dream it up and bring it to fruition,” he said.

Projects from the woods classes came from all levels of high school students. A couple of shelves were on display Thursday. Those were part of the mass production unit, said woods instructor Trevor Smith. “Every student made one and did a project of their choosing,” he said of the Introduction to Woodworking class.

A couple of woods projects went into more detail. An American flag display and a table drew a lot of attention. Those were both created by juniors, he said.

“The 11th-graders wanted something different to do. They did all the work, the plans, the production sheets, etc. We were here to guide them through the process,” Smith said.

In all, the award-winning displays ranged from the shelves to go-karts and included a portable fishing rack and Thor’s hammer, which also drew some attention.

Graham said judging was based on craftsmanship and workmanship. “They also had to create detailed binders on how they built it, what it took to build it and the plans,” he said.

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.


Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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