New sculpture in Monk Gardens was made by NTC daycamp students

Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 8:07 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - There’s a brand-new sculpture at Monk Botanical Gardens, and it’s all thanks to kids in the summer day camp program.

From computer, printer, tools, and prototype welding is no easy task, and The Make it Real for the Community summer day camp at Northcentral Technical College is giving kids the opportunity to see if it’s something they want to do in the future.

“I love seeing my designs come to life and using the laser, {and} learning how to process everything,” said Lilly Godleske, participant of the summer day camp.

Godleske has taken part in all three years of the NTC welding camp. The sixth-10th grade students attending the camp get to weld and design a sculpture under the supervision of instructors and student helpers.

“This camp is really to help get younger kids that aren’t quite college ready into the industry and kind of see what it’s about. We’re teaching them from the ground up,” said Grace Koehler, student helper at the camp.

This year, 15 students created a dragonfly sculpture that is now part of Monk Botanical Gardens.

“We’ve been putting our designs that we drew up in autoCAD onto this huge dragonfly for Monk Gardens and it looks really cool,” said Godleske.

“It’s just really cool to see somebody when they know nothing. And then they get to learn it, and just be like, ‘I get it’ and ‘I want to do it’ and then just go crazy about it,” said Koehler.

The students celebrated their hard work with a picture by the dragonfly, and for those who may be scared to participate, one instructor says it’s not as scary as it seems.

“I would say it’s so fun, and you can do it. We have campers every year who have never welded before. Never made anything out of metal and they love it,” said Veronica Hope, welding instructor at Northcentral Technical College.

“I remember my first camp: I was a little nervous just because welding is kind of intimidating for new people, but I fell in love with it,” said Godleske.

The Make it Real for the Community day camp will return next year. Students and the college are already looking forward to what students will do next year.

For a list of other events from NTC, click here.