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Local Company Helps High School Students Learn about Masonry


John Vanderwyst, a teacher at Wittenberg Birnamwood high school,
wants to teach kids skills they can use possibly as a potential career.

So he reached out to county materials in town and they provided.

"One brick is here, and another brick is here," Junior Van Williams said. "You got to lay it."

Williams slabs hydrated lime on a concrete stone.

"We have to lay two bricks a day to beat the deadline," Williams said.

But just trying to get the homework done in time isn't Tech Ed Teacher John Vanderwyst's goal for the students with this project in class.

"There's a need for mason's in the workforce out there," Vanderwyst said. "I might as well teach them something that society needs."

But to fill the hole, he needed some help. County Materials donated $400 worth of materials.

Vanderwyst said County Materials donated a cube of block, which is an 8-inch standard block, 6 bags of 50 lb bags of hydrated lime and a half a yard of masonry sand.

The students added water to the white powdery substance that acts like cement, make mud and slab on the concrete stones.

"We're building a a wall out of cinder block," Sophomores Duylann Barnes and Collin Foth said. "It's pretty fun. I like it better than book work and writing."

Whether their learning in books or with blocks, the students like using the donated materials in class.
However, for Mr. V, using them to build a foundation for their future is what matters most.

"That way I'm not just teaching hobby courses. They're getting something out of it the could use. If they don't want to be a mason that's OK too."


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