Students in Jodi Marshall's mechanical technology class at Platteville High School received some hands-on training last week, so to speak. A welding simulator, costing in excess of $40,000 was on site, courtesy of the Tulsa Welding School in Tulsa, Okla. Jim Krier, high school education representative with Tulsa Welding School, explained the simulator measures the students' welding accuracy. No heat is involved, rather the student wears a traditional welding mask and practices the skill on a replica piece of equipment. The results can be viewed on a large flat screen monitor. The welding mask shows a 3D animation of a typical work site while the student is "welding." Throughout the day, the students competed to see who could finish with the highest score. Ryan Neumeister scored a 94, the second highest score in the country, thus far. Other top scores at Platteville included: Madison Mood, 90; Jaidin Jenkins, 89; and Elissa Buhr, 91.
Krier and an assistant travel across the country with the simulator touting welding as a career as well as the Tulsa Welding School.