in the adult-ed night course on welding that i took i made
a bunch of nameplates
- took a 2x5 piece of 12ga (i think...) and welded (mig)
a name into it,
- welded that piece to another, making an inverted T,
with the name on the vertical piece
and gave 'em out as christmas presents to those that
would enjoy 'em. (i even gave one to my boss, who let
me bug out of work an hour or two early to take the course :-)

the really good part was that it was a project where
neatness, technique, wire-speed, etc, etc, all really

it probably gave me a whole lot better feel
for how to mig than running random beads on
coupons or joining two pieces of scrap together.

it was a great project

just don't let the kids get frustrated -- it can be hard to
write when you can barely see what you're doing.