Big Ideas Receives CliftonLarsonAllen Donation

Article from New Ulm Journal NEW ULM — Big Ideas, a New Ulm non-profit group that creates classes to expose student to the building trades, was the recipient of a CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) Foundation award of $15,000. Local CLA staff were given a tour of the Big Ideas office and classrooms on South Minnesota Street, Tuesday

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Big Ideas at the State Fair!

Have you ever seen inside our Mobile Learning Lab? It’s open now at the Minnesota State Fair. Try augmented welding, industrial painting, CAT simulator and more!

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Instructor Spotlight: Myron Wieland

Occupation: Retired Municipal Employee Why do you work with Big Ideas?  I enjoy meeting middle school-aged children and exposing them to basic plumbing.  These young adults need exposure to the different building trades in order to foster a potential interest. Why do you love the trades?  I personally get a strong sense of accomplishment from

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Instructor Spotlight : Arco Horton

Occupation: fabricator/welder Why do you work with Big Idea’s? I love teaching my skills to kids and adults who are excited to learn. What is your best experience in Skilled Trades? As a welder I think it’s amazing to build a car completely by hand and watching it go from sheets of steel to a

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Instructor Spotlight : Heidi Watson

Occupation: Customs Car shop owner Why do you work with Big Idea’s? I work with Big Ideas because I see a definite push for all High school students to go to 4-year schools. College is not for everyone; college dropout rates show this. If more information were provided to students and adults about working in

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Instructor Spotlight : Megan Farrand

  Occupation: Auto Body Painter Why do you work with Big Idea’s? When I was in high school we did not have many opportunities to explore employment options outside of traditional college. I knew I wanted to work on cars but did not know what area outside of mechanics was available. This program would have

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Big Ideas Goes to Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s

We had a great time at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s. Students had the opportunity to use augmented & virtual reality to learn: welding, painting, heavy equipment, and more! 8th grader: “This has made me realize I am good at welding. I think that might me what I want to do as a career.” 10th grader:

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Big Ideas hits Texas!

Last week, Big Ideas partnered with Girl with Grit, a Texas based nonprofit, to bring a welding course to the girls in the program. The course was taught by our instructor, Briana Huhn, and covered MIG welding basics along with plasma cutting. The girls were able to learn shop safety and fundamentals of MIG welding,

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Big Ideas Mobile Trailer at Cathedral School

Our Mobile Learning Trailer premiered at New Ulm Cathedral school this week! Students had the chance to try augmented virtual welding, paint simulator, and our brand new CAT heavy equipment trailer. If you are interested in having us come to your school, contact us at: Director@bigideasusa.org

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Women in Construction Week

The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women

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Instructor Spotlight: Andrew Kish

My name is Andrew Kish I am currently a millwright at United Farmers Coop. I live in New Ulm Minnesota. 2008-2009: Went to ridge water college to receive my certificate in auto body. 2009-2010: Worked at Teskeys Manufacturing as a welding manager. 2010-2011: Worked for Grain States, LLC as a laborer and a welder building

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More Classes at Big Ideas!

Another exciting day at Big Ideas this past weekend. Saturday’s class consisted of: CAD, Plumbing, small engine assembly, and Ironworks (Millwright). Students of all ages can get introduced to a variety of trades. Let us know what classes you would be interested in taking!

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DryWall Class

We held a class specializing in the art of drywall! This is a great skill for any homeowner to know! Interested in learning this, or something similar? Let us know!

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Big Ideas 4H Class was great!

Our first 4H Club class was a huge success! The participants got to learn a variety of trades and got to use some awesome technology. Over the next 6 months, these students will explore over 10 different skilled trades. We are currently holding classes for all ages. Register here:  

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New Instructor: Jason Spurgin

Big Ideas would like to welcome Jason Spurgin to our team! He has been an active carpenter since 1999! His true gift is his ability to connect with young students and new learners. Check out his impressive resume: 2010-present:  Inspection technician City of New Ulm and Courtland.  Building, HVAC, Plumbing, Fire and general building safety

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Trades Day at Big Ideas!

Trades day was a huge hit! This was an opportunity for young people to try hands-on trades. Stations included: Carpentry Sewing Welding with a Virtual Machine Virtual Reality Painting We have real professionals who teach at each station. We hope this sparks an interest for students to explore options in the trades. If you are

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