School of Mines designs center



STUDENTS FROM the Colorado School of Mines set up a jigsaw puzzle question and answer wall about the waterwheel and grist mill.


Each school year, the Colorado School of Mines engineering students choose outreach projects to work on, and this year one of the classes picked The Salvation Army’s High Peak Camp as their project. Some 13 students planned, designed and assembled an interactive discovery center that includes a penny press, question wall, gear train, pulley, grist mill, model of High Peak Camp and an interactive video.

The senior engineering design team divided up the projects and have designed and assembled the interactive equipment in the High Peak mill building. A long time friend of The Salvation Army, the Fie Family Foundation, made a generous donation in order to make the Discovery Center possible. This is a unique project, perhaps the only hands-on engineering learning display at any of The Salvation Army’s summer camps.

Intermountain Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Harold Brodin said, “This collaboration is one that will benefit young people and impact future generations. We’re grateful to the Colorado School of Mines students for their enthusiastic support of this project.”

The center piece of the discovery center is the antique grist mill. It’s powered by the mill building’s water wheel. The campers will be able see how the gears work as the mill grinds the flour. Then the campers will be able to take it one step farther by using the flour to make bakery goods.

The High Peak Camp model lights up by water being cranked through it. The model has two reservoirs and a working replica of the mill building. The campers will also be able to learn about the flow of water and calculate the speed, volume and depth of the water moving through the mill building water wheel.

John Covert, Administrator/Development High Peak Camp Director said, “It’s our hope that the Discovery Center will not only be a fun learning experience but also that it might spark a lifelong interest in the field of mathematics and mechanical engineering.”

The Colorado School Of Mines students graduated in May but are planning to continue working on the Discovery Center prior to summer camp starting, and the school plans to continue working on the center into the next school year. “This has been an excellent relationship. We have tapped into some fine talent and at the same time have been able to share about the Army’s camping ministry,” said Capt. William Mikesell, Intermountain divisional youth secretary.

The Salvation Army is planning an open house at the Discovery Center the beginning of this summer.

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