Farmers Insurance funds STEAM cart for local school

Photo provided | Adam Wentzel recently made the STEAM cart delivery to Greensburg Elementary School after months of dedication from various people, including GCHS teachers Mike Wilds and Heather Comer, and GCHS student Megan Reisman.

GREENSBURG – Years from now, Adam Wentzel from Farmers Insurance may see the difference he made in the lives of Greensburg students.

Wentzel has worked diligently with Greensburg Community Schools teachers and staff over the last couple years to provide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities and books, and has sponsored spirit days.

Recently, Greensburg Elementary teachers were given information on the Farmers Insurance Thank America’s Teachers program in which several teachers went online to post their proposals and push for votes for a chance to win the national contest.

Sarah Brewsaugh, a second grade teacher at Greensburg Elementary, submitted an online proposal for the contest but did not receive enough votes.

That’s when Wentzel stepped in and reached out to Greensburg Community High School engineering and technology teacher Mike Wilds.

Wentzel previously sponsored a project for Wild’s class in 2017 where students made ukuleles. The total cost of the project was $1,000, and the effort was paid for through Wentzel’s insurance agency.

Wentzel asked Wilds if he and his class would like to take on another project. This time that project was to help develop a STEAM cart for Brewsaugh’s class. Wentzel’s agency again provided the funding.

According to information provided by Farmers Insurance, after meeting during the summer before the 2018-2019 school year and going through the ideas of the cart, Wilds took on the project.

It was expected to be a one semester project, but as the work advanced so did the learning curve as well as the timeframe. The project ended up taking two semesters.

Wilds’s students used a CNC router and a 3-D printer for the project.

Wentzel said a great amount of time was spent by students to produce the final product. Through several trials and errors, it all came to fruition.

As for the cart cover part of the project, Wilds reached out to GCHS consumer science teacher Heather Comer to see if she could be of assistance. Comer used this as an opportunity for a class project, and student Megan Reisman did all the sewing and fitting for the cover.

The $2,700 STEAM cart project concluded in late July, and the cart was donated to Brewsaugh on July 29.

Wentzel spoke about what it was like to deliver the final project.

“It was great,” Wentzel said, adding that it was neat to see the students imagine what they could do.

Wentzel also said supporting STEAM is a passion, and indicated the effects STEAM activities can have on the lives of students can last a lifetime.

“I like to see people pick up learning skills and do something different with their creativity,” Wentzel said. “I like to see our student go on to a tech school, or start their own businesses.”

----

Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x7401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com.