When it comes to teaching industrial technology, having the right tools makes all the difference. Having the correct tools for the job and having enough of each for multiple people to use them at a time helps students get the experience they need to learn new techniques and develop an interest in the skilled trades. Tim Rouse, an industrial technology teacher in Durant High School’s (DHS’s) architecture, construction, and engineering (ACE) program, knows this well. On Tuesday, October 1st, he and his students got a donation of tools from Milwaukee Tool that will help them and other students in the surrounding area have access to the cutting-edge items they need to succeed.
Recently, one of Rouse’s former students, Ryan Storjohann, now a senior at Iowa State University, reached out to Milwaukee Tool. He wrote them a letter requesting a donation for the ACE program, which he remembered fondly. As part of their educational outreach program, Milwaukee Tool agreed to help out, and sent a pallet with 720 pounds of brand-new overstocked tools on it. The pallet contained a staggering variety of equipment, including caulk, grease, and heat guns; drills of various sizes and drivers; grinders; hammer drills; polishers; Sawzalls; skill saws; and more.
With this multitude of new tools, Rouse looks forward to expanding what he and his students can do and furthering the goal of the ACE program. He elaborated that ACE, “gives kids the flavor of all the different trades they can go into,” and that by having access to more tools, “it will give them an opportunity to have a lot more time using tools,” deepening their skills and knowledge in the process.
In some cases, Rouse got more tools than he needed. Wanting to spread the wealth, he reached out to both Wilton Junior-Senior High School and West Branch High School, allowing them to take the extra grinders and Sawzalls.
To further expand the good the Milwaukee Tool donation will do, Rouse plans to use them in the summer as well, as part of a construction course that he teaches at Kirkwood Community College. Through the class, students get experience building actual houses. Because the tools included many cordless ones, they will prove invaluable on the jobsites that do not have electricity yet.
In the face of all these exciting prospects, Rouse feels extremely grateful that Storjohann took the time to write to Milwaukee Tool about the donation, and that the company considered his request and made a donation to the DHS ACE program. “It’s amazing,” Rouse said. “It’s one of those things that you see, but you never think it will happen to you.”
Everyone involved in the ACE program shares Rouse’s gratitude. As students in Durant, Wilton, West Branch, and even at Kirkwood Community College set to work with these tools, the community will watch with excitement to see what they create, where the skills they develop will lead them, and how they will positively shape the world around them.