EHS students had the opportunity to explore a career in welding by using a virtual welder on April 19.
Matthew Galbraith, Lead Welding Instructor at Butler Community College, brought a virtual welding machine to the industrial arts classroom so students could get a better understanding of the mechanics of welding.
"We were pretty excited for the kids to see it and experience it," said Robert Hall, Industrial Arts Teacher at EHS. "It's a new technology for us, so it's kind of cool."
Mr. Hall had taught students the basics of welding, but wanted to provide them with a more in-depth look.
The virtual welder consists of a machine that is hooked to a digital welding gun, virtual goggles that are mounted inside of a welding helmet, a computer monitor, and a piece of metal on a stand.
Just as with traditional welding machines, students must choose the metal, gas type and flow, the voltage, and direction of the electrical current. They must also set the wire feed speed and voltage before beginning the simulation.
There are several virtual environments from which to choose. Students can simulate an ironworks setting, refinery, motor sport, desert base, power plant, or weld shop booth.
One high school student, Morgan Edwards, is currently in the welding program at Butler. Mr. Hall hopes that having the opportunity to use the virtual welder will help other students decide whether this is a career they would be interested in pursuing.
"There are a lot of welding industries in this area," said Hall. "Hopefully, this will spark an interest in a career that can be obtained locally."
Some students seemed surprised at how many factors have to be considered when welding. Other students seemed to complete the task with relative ease.
"I didn't know there were certain angles and stuff," said Kyndall Jeffress, a sophomore at EHS. "It was a lot harder than I thought."
Over 25 students were able to use the virtual welder during seminar. Mr. Hall hopes to borrow the machine again sometime to give more students a chance to see how it works.
To view a video of the virtual welder visit our Facebook page