Engineering for Charity
There aren’t many events in your life that will leave a lasting impression like an F4 tornado. Equally, the same tragic event brings out the best in a community and people. Personally, the impact of the devastation was minimal compared to others. Over a year and a half later, the Washington, IL is getting accustomed to the new normal and we are finally finishing up on home repairs. Part of the new normal is repairing the local mini golf course with designs created and built by area high schools.
The Hillcrest Golf Center partnered with the Strategic Manufacturing group in order to identify high schools and partner them with local manufacturers for designing the 18 hole mini golf course. Local manufacturers were available to the schools for helping them with procurement of materials for their specific holes. INTEGRIS was partnered with Washington Community High School’s engineering class as they designed and developed the 18th hole. This partnership was a perfect fit for us because of our design and design for manufacturability (DFM) capabilities. It was also a great honor for Integrists Rob Harris, Nick Jaegle, John Hilleary and myself who either have kids at WCHS or will have there in the future to be involved.
WCHS provided us with their early design documents and we provided feedback to them regarding DFM and made suggestions on additional dimensions to be added to the prints. After a few print iterations, we contacted Premier Fabrication to assist with laser cutting the WCHS Skate Park design by the students. The initial outcome of the sign from Premier was impressive and the class was glad to see their design come to life. INTEGRIS took the sign to WCHS and talked with the students about engineering, the project and got the chance to see their First Robotics Competition (FRC) robot that they took to the national competition.
On June 6, 2015, the team started building the 18th hole of the mini golf course in Washington, IL. I personally attended and helped the students set the fence posts for the sign. It was a great opportunity to work with the students to bring their designs to life. It was also great working with Mr. Rob Mitchell, the engineering class teacher and FRC Head Coach, as he oversaw the students and volunteers as they built their creation. As the pieces started coming together, the vision was being realized. After the initial fit up, some of the pieces were taken down and sent off for painting. Paint was performed by Integrist Mike Grossen who chose 1969 Chevy Camaro Hugger Orange to match the WCHS color.
The grand opening for the new mini golf at the Hillcrest Golf Center in Washington was June 27, 2015. It was great to see all the holes designed and built by local high schools and support by local manufacturers. For me, it was even more personal as now I can say my company played a role in rebuilding Washington and that I can be proud of the great work performed by the class and our team.
Special thanks to the Chief, Andy Berberich for sharing his experience!