Director of Educational Partnership
Project GRILL puts local manufacturers together with area high school tech ed students on a year-long project to design and build a working charcoal grill from scratch. The Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, in cooperation with six manufacturing partners and Moraine Park Technical College, started the program in 2008. Within two years the popularity of Project GRILL was evident, and the Project expanded to eight schools and manufacturers.
From the start students are exposed to up-to-the-minute technology, real-world deadlines and learn first-hand that careers in manufacturing are creative, challenging and rewarding. During the course of the year they realize that, in the end, it's pretty cool to make something that other people can use.
Through the school year, students tour all the manufacturers' work sites, and representatives of the manufacturers tour the schools.
The culmination of the project happens at the end of the school year when the students' grills are brought together for a public unveiling party. The grills are "fired up" to cook lunch for attendees, and participants get to see for the first time what each partnership created.