Metal art contest tests creativity, teamwork, hustle

Print Article

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Sprocket chain is cut apart on its way to being incorporated in sculpture at the Metal Art Competition Thursday at CB Tech.

  • 1

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Members of the Kamiakin High School welding class discuss the finer points of their design at the Metal Art Competition Thursday at CB Tech.

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Sprocket chain is cut apart on its way to being incorporated in sculpture at the Metal Art Competition Thursday at CB Tech.

  • 1

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Members of the Kamiakin High School welding class discuss the finer points of their design at the Metal Art Competition Thursday at CB Tech.

MOSES LAKE — The table in front of the Othello High School team was filled with raw material – old rebar, rusty discs, broken gears, a metal hook. But before the metal art competition ended, that rusty greasy broken metal was going to be repurposed into something terrific.

In fact, Othello welding student Johnny Garza said the team’s scrap-metal interpretation of a turtle was a sure winner. “I guarantee it,” he said.

The annual metal art competition at Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center (CB Tech) challenges competitors to create something terrific, or at least something interesting, out of bits and pieces of random metal. The instructors work to make it as tough as possible, too.

“There’s zero planning they can do ahead of time,” said CB Tech instructor Chad Utter. The instructors get a couple of trailer loads of metal, “totally scrap.” It’s dumped out in front of the competitors first thing in the morning, and they have until mid-afternoon to turn it into something.

Creativity in scrap metal can be noisy, or at least it was at about 10 a.m. Thursday, despite the abundant ear protection. Grinders and welding torches were going full blast.

“You’re not going to be able to hear for weeks,” one competitor shouted to another.

“What?” his friend shouted back.

Competitors do get one small hint, a couple of days before the competition. The theme for 2017 was “wilderness”. But things get more specific at the competition itself, Utter said – each finished work had to include wild animals of some sort.

“Everything has to be done on the fly,” Utter said. But that’s not to say teams didn’t do some brainstorming ahead of time. The Othello team talked over possibilities on the drive to Moses Lake, although, Johnny said, the ideas were all over the place. It wasn’t until they got the scrap metal in front of them that the idea came together.

The Ephrata team had a general idea of the direction they wanted to go. “We’re going to try to make a bird in a tree. That’s the end goal,” said Nathan Duffner.

Once they assembled their scrap metal the plan became a little more elaborate, with more birds added among the trees. “That’s the plan. So far,” said Hannah Macgregor.

The evening CB Tech class selected a stack of – stuff: a damaged empty propane container, discarded gears, metal springs, broken socket chain. Inspiration came from the pile of rusty dirty metal. “It’s going to be an owl with a snake in its talons,” said Enoch Figueroa, Moses Lake.

The 2017 competition included a team from each of the three advanced manufacturing classes at CB Tech and a team from the Moses Lake High School FFA. Other teams came from Warden, Connell, Ephrata, Othello, Wilson Creek and Kamiakan High School in Kennewick.

Utter said the skills necessary to do well in the competition are the same ones employers are looking for in prospective employees. It’s designed to emphasize problem solving, working together and a creative approach to challenges. “Teamwork, creativity, hustle,” he said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Samaritan Hospital receives Level 3 trauma designation

April 23, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Hospital has been designated as a Level 3 trauma center. Hospital district officials received notice of the change Friday. Previously the hospital had been designated a Level ...

Comments

Read More

April 30 property tax deadline looms

April 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — Poet T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month. And it probably seems that way to a fair number of Grant County landowners. No sooner has the mid-April deadline to file and pay fede...

Comments

Read More

Grant County International Airport will keep control of radar systems

April 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — The Grant County International Airport will be retaining control over its control tower radar systems following a review by the Federal Aviation Administration into whether management of...

Comments

Read More

World War I subject of museum program

April 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — The story of World War I in Washington – mostly told in the words of the people who lived through it – will be the subject of a presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Moses Lake Museum &...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2018 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X