Domtar builds mutually beneficial partnership with local students

STEM Academy students Ian Bruhn, 6th grader, Josiah Mehlke, also a 6th grader, and Hoyt Olsen, 7th grader, videotaped the training sessions.

During the month of April, the Nekoosa Mill held two training classes for paper mill and beater room employees, with the goal of developing a better understanding of color and optical brightening agents (OBA). The Color school focused on color vocabulary, factors influencing color, addition points, and other topics. The OBA school concentrated on brightness/whiteness, opacity, OBA impact on color, and factors influencing performance.

The schools were coordinated by Herb Fergison, Senior Process Engineer, and were led by representatives from BASF, one of the mill’s dye suppliers. The classes were very informative, and BASF’s time and talents were greatly appreciated by the Nekoosa employees.

While planning for the training, the mill decided to videotape the sessions to capture the knowledge and share it with other employees who could not attend. The challenge was to find a video camera and someone to do the taping. That’s where a partnership was born — Domtar and CWSA!

CWSA is an acronym for Central Wisconsin STEM Academy, a project-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) school that is currently serving grades 4-7 in the Nekoosa School District. CWSA provides a learning environment that involves the students more in their own learning.

When CWSA was contacted by Domtar about the project, they eagerly accepted the challenge. Three students arrived at the mill with STEM Coordinator Clint Rogers. After participating in a safety orientation, they surveyed the classroom and set up their equipment, paying close attention to sound, angle and lighting.

The three students took great care to make sure all of the details were covered. With the taping done, the students will edit the footage and present Domtar with the final product.

The Nekoosa Mill is very appreciative of the students’ time, talent, and professional attitude, and we look forward to working with them again in the future!

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