Collaboration and Construction: Pathways Innovation Center Students and Staff Build Community Connections

In an exceptional display of creativity, teamwork, and career and technical expertise, a group of NCSD students and staff completed the final step of an extraordinary project this past summer - designing and constructing an upper bridge on the Casper Mountain Lee McCune Braille Trail in partnership with the Lion’s Club.

From idea to installation, students, staff, and Lion’s Club members worked collaboratively throughout the school year with hours of research, planning, and hands-on construction to bring their vision to life. Students in welding, manufacturing, engineering, and construction classes worked together to build the bridge, piece by piece, with installation taking place in July. 

During the school year, engineering students completed drawings and design work with William Pollock, a 2023 graduate, leading the way using SolidWorks to create a 3D model of the bridge. With input from the Lions Club and Pathways Innovation Center Core Construction teacher Rob Hill, a realistic model of the bridge was created and used for the construction. Welding students then focused on the fabrication and welds of the project while construction students completed the concrete work and the bridge’s plank decking. The comprehensive project consisted of hours of hard work, collaboration, and teamwork. Students, teachers, volunteers, and community members completed the installation with a sense of connectedness and appreciation for the project and what it means to the community. 

“This application was a great joint project for our CTE programs. The bridge will be a lasting item that students and the community can enjoy for a long time. This project was a great opportunity for real-world applications,” shared Jon Vance, Pathways Innovation Center Welding teacher. “The students designed the bridge in Mr. Dye’s design class and then were able to construct the bridge using the blueprint. It was fun to see how excited the students were to be able to lay out and weld on the project in class.”

Kyle Dye, Pathways Innovation Center Manufacturing teacher, expressed his appreciation for the partnership opportunity, saying, "I think that having students involved in projects like these helps them gain an understanding of how important it is to give back to our community. I want them to learn through real-world experiences and build a sense of community along the way. We need to build a sense of community and teach students how important it is to give back, volunteer, and be part of making our own community a better place. They learn so much about partnerships, working as a team, and seeing something coming together. "

This was another example of groups working together to create a positive outcome. “When you have a group of people who work together to create a solution, it is amazing how much we can do,” shared Rob Hill, Pathways Innovation Center Core Construction teacher. “We are very proud of the high-level work the students did to complete the project - especially considering how many different programs contributed. The quality of workmanship is exceptional, and we hope the bridge will remain in place long into the future thanks to the foresight of the Lion's Club and the dedication of Pathways students.”

Pathways Innovation Center (P.I.C.) is an extension of Natrona County’s high school system. Pathways Innovation Center is focused on preparing tomorrow’s workforce through academic, career and technical studies by providing students with an authentic and rigorous learning environment in order to graduate productive citizens who are college, career, and military-ready.

A special "Thank You" to Double D Welding and Fabrication and Bar D Signs for their donation of time and equipment used to make the project a success.