STEAM Skills Put to the Test in LumberJack and LumberJane Competition
According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, in the 1890s one quarter of Wisconsinites was employed in the logging and lumbering industry, which surged to become the backbone of the state’s economy. Recently, that history came to life at D.C. Everest Middle School as students were given the opportunity to participate in a LumberJack and LumberJane Competition hosted at the school.
The idea was brought to fruition by the instructors of House 7C — DJ Huddleston, Jamie Salzman, Marla Day, Leah Fisher, Eric Lehrke and Ashley Dippel — and supported by a grant from the D.C. Everest Area Education Foundation. The instructors re-constructed a traditional Wisconsin “lumberjack” competition that challenged teams of students to utilize their math, physics, engineering, communication, problem-solving and collaborative skills. Prior to the event, students studied Wisconsin’s storied lumber history and delved into lessons about incline planes, levers and torque — concepts that were critical to successfully completing the LumberJack and LumberJane events in an efficient and effective manner. Students competed in wood splitting, a log roll relay course, two-person crosscut, a mini-caber toss and a log pull.
“In education, the most important lessons aren’t simply derived from what teachers teach — they are derived from students applying what they’ve learned to real life situations,” notes science instructor DJ Huddleston. “By competing in these events, our students had a chance to walk in the shoes of lumberjacks, to gain some perspective for the challenges they faced and to apply their analytical skills to real life challenges.” They also had the opportunity to end their day with one of the lumberjacks’ favorite “events”— the ever-popular flapjack feed.