[Masthead] Fair ~ 73°F  
High: 85°F ~ Low: 47°F
Friday, May 6, 2016

CMS students tour John Deere Foundry

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pictured left to right in front of the John Deere Foundry and Tractor Factory in Waterloo are: Alex Maurer, Brett Walker, Alec Shultz, Marshall Stief, Zane Young, Nate Fowler, Nick Benningsdorf and Parker Berding. Photo contributed
WATERLOO - The Cherokee 7th grade Talented and Gifted class recently traveled to Waterloo for educational tours of the John Deere Foundry and Tractor Factory.

The following students were accompanied by parent volunteers Marlin Stief and Mark Berding and teacher Lori Fordyce; Parker Berding, Nate Fowler, Zane Young, Nick Benningsdorf, Brett Walker, Marshall Stief, Alex Maurer, and Alec Shultz. The group began studying engines when they were in 5th grade but found out they could not visit the foundry until they were at least 13 years old.

The foundry is where it all begins. The John Deere Foundry in Waterloo produces gray and ductile iron castings for much of the John Deere equipment, with an emphasis on castings for the 7000, 8000, and 9000 series tractors. The foundry processes include making sand cores, sand molds, melting and pouring iron, and cleaning castings.

The group first viewed a Power Point presentation of the foundry, then dressed in safety clothing including metal shoe covers, fire suits, helmets, goggles, fire-resistant gloves and remote headsets. Andy Austin and Guy Mitchell, John Deere Foundry specialists, were the guides, and told the group a lot of interesting information. They saw liquid iron being poured; in order to be melted, it gets as hot as 2800 degrees.

Pictured left to right at the John Deere Foundry and Tractor Factory are: Guy Mitchell, Brett Walker, Nate Fowler, Zane Young, Nick Benningsdorf, Alex Maurer, Alec Shultz, Marshall Stief, Marlin Stief, Parker Berding, Mark Berding, Andy Austin and Lori Fordyce.Photo contributed
Following are some of the things the students learned; the foundry uses as much electricity in one hour as the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo together use in one week; when the iron reaches its hottest temperatures and melts into liquid, it is so hot, the liquid is a very bright white; John Deere uses so much electricity that even the weather hundreds of miles away may affect its production three to four days later, so being able to plan, problem solve, and think critically are vitally important; we had the opportunity to see diverse careers at the foundry including line workers, various kinds of engineers, accountants, environmentalists, computer technicians, supervisors, and more.

Appreciation of the staff and employees of John Deere for taking time out of their busy day to show the students how this amazing place works was expressed by Fordyce and the students. "It's one thing to read about it and see pictures of it, but it becomes real when we see it operating in person," said Fordyce.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: