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Orchard-Clearwater came up as victors for the 2017 Norfolk Home and Garden Show’s “Green” Project Industrial Tech Contest.
Due to the Norfolk Home and Garden show falling on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the show featured a “Green” theme with a focus on environmental friendliness. Projects could be built out of materials that were upcycled, recycled, green energy, green building, or any other type of environmentally friendly building material. The finished products were to be designed and built with user safety as a priority.
Multiple schools from Northeast Nebraska participated in the contest alongside Orchard-Clearwater. All students were encouraged to seek donations of supplies and materials from their local community. The projects were also put up for sale to the public for various amounts of money where anyone could purchase the project for the proposed donation amount.
Orchard-Clearwater seniors Jerod Bolling, Travis Kerkman, Grady Bellingtier and Shane Van Ostrand while under the instruction and supervision of Mike Odell, Industrial Arts instructor at Orchard-Clearwater, built a first-place project that consisted of two benches and a firepit.
To stay within the “Green” theme, a majority of the materials were salvaged and no paint was applied to the metal. A water resistant finish was applied to the cedar bench tops. Lag screws (used to attach the bench tops), a welding rod, and the finish were the only materials that were not salvaged on the project. The cedar for the benches were retrieved from dead cedar trees along the Elkhorn River and milled with a chainsaw mill, the steel wheels were purchased from a local repair shop, and the disc blades were stacked and welded together to form the fire pit.
The project took the four seniors only a week and half to build, with the time being spread out waiting on the arrival of various parts for the project.
“When we started out were were actually going to make a globe out of a propane tank but we couldn’t find one. We went over to my neighbor’s place and found a bunch of disc plates, so we decided to make a design out of those,” Kerkman said.
“We were originally going to do four benches but we couldn’t find enough wheels, so we only did two,” Bellingtier added.
The event started on Friday, March 17 and went until Sunday, March 19. The first place award for the contest was $500, second place for $250, and all other participants were awarded $100.
For more on details on the event: