Focus on Learning - Project GRILL

Photo of Project GRILL participants
Pictured are left to right: Tech Ed teacher Doug Walkner, student Spencer Johnson, Mercury Marine engineer Kevin Anderson, student Eric Felten, student Nathan Kelley, student Chris Starr, student Grant Goebel, and Tech Ed teacher Kevin Hein.

Project GRILL helps prepare students for the future. When asked what kind of employees businesses need, Dr. Kevin Anderson, Mercury Fellow, says:

“We want employees who can solve problems, think, be creative, have great communication skills, and have the ability to learn in a variety of different situations, and that’s a big one.” He also added, “It’s important to have a good work ethic.”

Project GRILL stands for Growing Readiness In Learning and Leading.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1st, Jim Cleveland and Mary Denzin from the Fond du Lac Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Kevin Anderson, who is a metallurgical engineer at Mercury Marine, visited Campbellsport High School to kick-off the 2013-2014 Project GRILL program.

The program founded by Johnsonville Foods seeks to build career awareness and link schools, employers, and youth with corporate partners and Moraine Park Technical College. Another goal is “to make manufacturing cool,” according to Jim Cleveland.

Manufacturers need a skilled workforce including: welders, fabricators, marketing personnel, engineers, accountants, and salesman. Project GRILL seeks to prepare students by providing a team of high school students with $2,500 to plan, build, and market a charcoal grill using an innovative design of their own.

The process requires communication, teamwork, project-based learning, designing, problem-solving, and manufacturing. Campbellsport High School’s student team of Spencer Johnson, Nathan Kelly, Chris Starr, Grant Goebel, and Eric Felton said their intent is to build a grill that is unique, stays within budget, has multiple uses, and surpasses previous grills manufactured by the school. Other districts involved in the program include Fond du lac, Lomira, Mayville, North Fond du lac, Oakfield, Waupun, and Winnebago Lutheran Academy.


Nov. 12:  Students will visit participating businesses: Mercury Marine, Manowske Welding, and Nemesis Metal.

Dec. 10:  Students will visit Mid-States Aluminum, Giddings & Lewis, and Agromatic.

Jan. 7:  Students will visit Mayville Engineering (MEC), Kondex Corporation, and JF Ahern.

In March:  Personnel from the manufacturing firms will visit the schools.

In May:  There will be an “unveiling party” in which the grill is showcased. Campbellsport Tech Ed teacher Kevin Hein will work with students on the design features and teacher Doug Walkner will instruct the fabrication process.

Last Updated: 9/5/15