Applied tech math plus ingenuity adds up to special recycled Viking statue

Members of the Applied Technical math class that built the Viking statue include (left to right): Tristan Hohnholt, Aidan Noggle, Brody Sterner, and Dominic Dimas. Not shown: Emmet Dawson. Courtesy photo

GUERNSEY – The addition of an Applied Technical math course at Guernsey-Sunrise High School and the creativity of the students enrolled produced much more than just a math credit for those who opted to sign up for the project-based class.  Co-taught by math instructor Jolynn Hillen and technical trades instructor Troy Reichert, the class began last year with building smaller projects such as mouse-trap vehicles, paper airplanes and water-powered rockets but students wanted a bigger challenge.  

With the idea of building a more than life-size statue of a Viking warrior, they began researching a Viking statue online.  After coming up with a design of their own, they opted to use recycled materials in the construct.  They began by creating a grid on paper to design the project to scale.  The next step was to build a styrofoam prototype of the statue scaled to half of the size of the finished project.  The remainder of last year’s spring semester was spent building different sections of the statue and by the end of the school year, they had finished the base and the statue body primarily from the waist down.  The upper parts just needed to be assembled and the shield, sword, dagger and battle axe were also close to completion.  

When classes resumed this fall, the remaining work was underway.  The finishing work on the project had to be moved outdoors as the size of the statue had outgrown the work space inside.  Scaffolding and ladders were now required for students to weld the upper body, cape and head in place.  They added several coats of paint as well as a clear coat for the final touches. 

The Town of Guernsey pitched in to move the statue to a cement pad added in front of the school and an unveiling ceremony was held last Thursday afternoon for the students and community.    

Nearly all of the materials used to build the statue came from recycled items.  Galvanized metal tubing, rebar, engine parts, piano wire, bolts and sheet metal are readily visible on the statue.

In the coming weeks, a fence will be built around the statue and a permanent sign will recognize the five students involved in the design and construction of the project.

They include Emmett Dawson, Dominic Dimas, Tristan Hohnholt, Aidan Noggle and Brody Sterner.

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