EAGLE RIVER - Where do kids learn the most? Is it at a school desk, or on a field trip? One place in Eagle River combines the best of both worlds.
The Northwoods Children's Museum is a truly special place. Some, are even moved to tears by it...
"You see kids having a really good time… Once in a while you see them crying when they have to go home," said Ken Nimmer, the museum's board president, "They really like to be here."
As the museum's board president and a retired school psychologist Ken and Lynne Nimmer understand how important playing is for children to learn and grow.
"Kids learn through doing and hands-on, and everything here is touchable."
This museum is the perfect classroom- It's 23 exhibits of fun and valuable lessons.
"Every one of them teach different things," said Rouleen Gartner, the Northwoods Children's Museum Director, "Whether it's science, reading, just how to be a professional in the work-field."
For 15 years kids have ENJOYED learning and exploring at the Northwoods Children's Museum. It's a place where families can connect and have fun. But places like this don't exist without help from the community.
"Sometimes the hardest part is just to find the money to keep things operating," said Nimmer.
Revenue for the museum dropped 30% in the last 2 years. That's more than half their budget- the rest comes from donors.
"When it decreases that much, it really hurts us," said Gartner. "So we definitely have to find other support to help keep the doors open, and keep us viable in this community."
Luckily they've got their supporters. The Nimmer's and an annoymous donor gave $15,000 to the museum. That's a lot of lessons and a lot of smiles. They'd like YOUR help to keep them coming.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
WISCONSIN - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of Northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.
The lack of money to repair certain areas is largely keeping the rebuilding process from getting started.
That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.
It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.
"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.
Wisconsin Emergency Management currently believes the damage caused by the mid-July storm is around $38 million across 10 counties and Bad River Reservation. Around $15 million of that happened in Iron County.
FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.
"They have sights selected so they will be showing us a lot of these sights." Said Christensen.
Those sights included multiple towns, Saxon Harbor, and crumbled highways.
This week Iron County gave its damage estimates to FEMA.
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