Staff at a Salina auto museum learned to weld compliments of a Salina technical college.
According to Salina Area Technical College, since the Salina Educational Automotive Museum of America opened in February, more than 3,000 people have used the museum’s virtual welding simulator, on loan from Salina Area Technical College.
But there was a catch: While the museum’s employees had been trained on how to run the simulator, most of them had never welded in real life.
So last week, museum Executive Director Michelle Peck and Director of Education Matthew Tyler Delano Miller-Wells brought several high school students who work at the museum part-time to Salina Tech’s welding shop for some hands-on experience.
After spending a few minutes explaining welding theory and safety, Salina Tech welding instructor Eric Vannoy got everyone into welding jackets, gloves and helmet, and they headed out to the shop where he began demonstrating some welds.
Then it was their turn.
After they’d practiced for a few minutes, Vannoy showed the group a bin of scrap metal, and invited them to use their imaginations.
“I was a little hesitant at first, but this was really fun,” said Brody Dooley. “I got to where I was making some OK welds. And now that I’ve done it, I think I’ll be better at helping people use the simulator.”
“I was a little scared at first – it’s molten metal, and that’s kind of scary,” said Brady Hemmer. “I learned a lot today, and it’s going to help me with the simulator.”
“This experience and opportunity is really cool,” Peck said. “Our partnership with Salina Tech has been great so far, and we’re finding new ways to work together.”
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