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Academy Welding Students Fabricate Fire Pits

Tools, Metal, and Math Come together for this Project

students welds  student with working fire pit  student using a hand-held metal grinder

Technical welding skills meet arithmetic with this project from the students in John Akers’ Welding class at Milliken Tech. The assignment consisted of fabricating an outdoor, tabletop fire pit in three weeks using gas metal arc welding, grinders, plate shears, and a portable band saw, in addition to a lot of technical math skills to calculate the proper length, area, and other dimensions.

Within the allotted time period, students had to demonstrate their understanding of all the skills they learned up to this point in the school year to successfully create an outdoor fire pit approximately the size of a large shoebox. They used a hydraulic plate shear machine to cut and bend large sheets of metal to their specifications; hand-held metal grinders to smooth and polish rough edges; and then welded the joints and frame. “Knowledge and experience were put to the test as my students made their way through this project,” said Akers. “Did they properly calculate the correct angles? Will their welds hold? Have they learned to correctly use other machinery? This was a big project. ”

The Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology, referred to as the Academy, is the Career and Technical Education Program of Eastern Suffolk BOCES and has locations in Bellport, Oakdale, and Riverhead. Milliken Tech is located on the Oakdale campus.