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Students forge interest in science, blades, and—bananas?—at Montana Tech metallurgy camp

banana slicing.jpg
Posted at 7:09 PM, Jun 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-25 09:19:24-04

BUTTE - High school students spent the week at Montana Tech in Butte at a metallurgy camp where they actually blacksmithed their own blades and really put them through the test. It was a good week for the students, but not a good week to be a banana.

“We had a very clean cut on all three of ours,” said Ethan Wornath of Missoula.

A smooth cut through a banana was just one of the tests the students went through to test the quality of the blades they made at the week-long camp.

“I think it did pretty well, it looks like the cut is pretty clean, I think. I personally think the knife has nice weight to it, a nice even balance,” said Payton Ramey of Ramsay.

There were 23 students from across the state and the region who participated in the free camp to encourage them to explore careers in science and engineering—and murder a few bananas.

“They really enjoyed the competition piece of it. We tried to make at least one competitive thing so they could kind of see how that works and I think the banana thing went really well,” said camp staffer Teagan Leitzke.

So I’ve got the blade by the Orange Two team and they seem very confident, so I’m going to see if I can cut through this banana cleanly with their blade, so look out. Oh! look at that, that’s a clean cut.

“We’re hoping we can help the students who aren’t quite sure what they want to do in college, kind of see a little bit more what’s out there and maybe come to Tech,” said Leitzke.

Many students said this camp motivated them to pursue studies in the field of science.

“It was fun, yeah. It’s a good experience, I think I learned a lot,” said Sullivan Panisko of Butte.

Ramey added, “All the stuff that we learned is definitely going to help when I decide what I want to do in the science field, but, yes, I’m definitely going to stay in the science field.”