Welding Thunder 2013 in Cottonwood Arizona
Top Young Welders in Arizona Compete to Build Best Grill and Smoker
Mohave Community College Colorado City, AZ *photos by Fran Johnston
Students and faculty from welding programs all over Arizona descended on Cottonwood, AZ to compete in the 2013 2nd annual Welding Thunder team fabrication welding contest hosted by Mingus Union High School at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood, Arizona October 25th and 26th.
Eight high school and two post secondary teams from around the state of Arizona competed from mobile welding fabrication shops transported to the event by each competing school. Students working from pre-engineered drawings were challenged to build a smoker /grill on Friday and then on Saturday customize the grill with “secret ingredients” fabricated in advance. The high school contest project drawings were provided by Cuesta Community College welding program in San Luis Obispo, Calif. and the college post-secondary design by Samuel Colton Sr. drawn by Mr. Mark Kregler of Kingman, Arizona. The contest ended with the students being required to cook lunch for their team and the judges from their newly built project.
Welding Thunder is part of the Welders Without Borders© TM program founded by Professor Samuel Colton in 2000. The Welding Thunder©: Team Fabrication contest inaugural event was hosted at the main campus of Arizona Western College in October 2012. This event allows students to showcase career technical education and demonstrate their readiness to enter the skilled workforce. Students participating in CTSO (Career Technical Student Organizations) such as SkillsUSA Student Chapters or American Welding Society Student Chapters are invited to participate at this event.
Members of the American Welding Society District 21 sections volunteered their time and resources to help sponsor the event and to provide technical judges for the competition. Major U.S. welding companies such as Broco-Rankin, ESAB, Victor Technologies, Miller Electric Company, Lincoln Electric Company and Arizona welding distributors such as Vern Lewis Company, WestAir Gases, and Praxair provided financial and logistical support to the event.
Students are judged in several categories from best industry themed team, best Bar-B-Q, and of course best fabrication and a people’s choice award.
The students were able to showcase the leadership, technical and welding skills they have learned during the school year at this event by mobilizing, setting up and producing the contest project. In a very competitive contest the Mohave Community College team directed by Mr. Buddy May battled the AWC Matadors of Steel who finished second place with Mohave garnering the first place slot for the best overall fabrication in the college division. In the high school division Flagstaff High School under the leadership of Mr. Mike Rust and Mr. Wes King secured first place for fabrication in their first Welding Thunder appearance. The Kofa Kings of Yuma directed by Mr. Ron Pixley claimed the second place spot while the Mingus Union High School welding team, instructed by Mr. Andrew Lamer rounded out the division in third place. Holbrook High School lead by instructor (and apparently chef) Dale Larson won the award for best Bar-B-Q. The People’s Choice award and the Best Industry Themed Team were also won by the Mingus Welding team.
Page High School, Red Mountain High School, Holbrook High School, San Luis High School also competed for their first time alongside Skyline High School who took part in the inaugural event.
This program continues to attract the top welding teams in the state of Arizona and will be held next year at Skyline High School in Mesa, Arizona.