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Caldwell students build 3-D model of geological layers

By Kristen Spicker | Dix Communications Published: July 5, 2016 1:04 PM
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CALDWELL — Caldwell High School students Brandon Steed and Trevor Ramage helped show a side of Ohio not normally seen: its geological layers.

The two students, who recently completed their junior year, crafted a 3-D model depicting 6,000 feet of subterranean Ohio for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program.

“At the beginning of the year, Charlie Dixon of OOGEEP called me inquiring about a model of the geological layers of the Earth,” explained Mike Schott, Caldwell High School industrial arts teacher.

“We reached out to some contacts and resources we had around the state — community colleges and high schools and such — and asked if anyone we knew had the capability to build a 3-D model of underground rock formations,” said Mark Bruce, OOGEEP communication director. “Several folks referred us to Mr. Schott at Caldwell High School. They basically said he has a fantastic program and that if there’s anyone who could do what we’re looking to do give him a call.”

“We got together and [Charlie Dixon, OOGEEP safety and workforce director, and Bruce] gave me pictures of the formation and how he wanted it,” Schott said,
“Basically we gave him a piece a paper that had images of underground rock formations in Ohio and a cutaway of an oil and gas well,” Bruce continued. “And they said, ‘Oh yeah, we can do that.’”

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While it may sound simple, the project was anything but.

Schott asked Ramage and Steed to take the project on in early January, because the pair had all their drawings completed. Even at their quick pace, it took the duo until Friday, May 20 to finish the project.

“They 3-D printed it all,” Schott said. “They had to do a lot of testing to account for warpage and shrinkage.
The intricate work required Ramage and Steed to take their time, resulting in them clocking approximately 400 to 500 hours working on machines to create the display.

“One layer took three days to build,” explained Schott. “It took over 40 million line coordinates to build the tower. There was hardly a night the 3-D printer wasn’t running.”

When OOGEEP returned to Caldwell Monday to pick up the display, the organization’s members were impressed.

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“We were really blown away by those two kids,” Bruce said. “Brandon and Trevor are junior students spending months designing and building this thing. We were just so impressed with what they were able to do.”

“I can’t say enough of how well it turned out and how excited we were,” Dixon added.

The display will be used to educate Ohioans on gas and oil energy and help them visualize the process taking place below their feet.

“What’s really great about this is that it’s a win on all sorts of fronts,” Bruce stated. “Not only were we able to get something that we could use, but then we were able to take this idea of engineering and designing and science and math and two kids in Caldwell put it to great use and built something fantastic.”

“When we first met with them and talked about the possibility of the project, you could just see in Mr. Schott’s classroom that the students were always engaged,” Dixon said. “This was an opportunity for them to take on a new challenge.”

“They’re setting themselves up for a great future,” Bruce added. “They were so excited to be able to use those computers to design this and actually build it. They said it was hard but that they loved that challenge. To hear kids say that nowadays, that’s just so exciting to know that there are young people out there who are looking for challenges or are excited for challenges and are innovative.”

Bruce and Dixon didn’t make the trip to Caldwell empty handed though.

The pair presented Schott with a $500 check to support the high school’s Formula One team’s trip to the world 4x4 competition in England this summer.

“We gave them a donation toward their F1 trip to [Coventry] because we need to support these kids and support Mr. Schott because they are doing great work,” Bruce explained.


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