RHINELANDER - Natural beauty surrounds us here in the Northwoods.
But living in a way that supports that natural beauty might seem tricky.
People who live in cities may have more access to sustainable, earth-friendly resources.
But there's plenty of that here in Rhinelander.
Monday was the third Sustainability Fair in Rhinelander, first in the new ArtStart building, and it was by far the biggest yet.
27 vendors, food, and music help show that people can live an earth-friendly life here in the Northwoods.
"There are sustainable services. You don't have to go to Madison, you don't have to go to California. There really are people up here that are providing services. We wanted to bring people together, both the providers and the possible consumers," a coordinator of the fair.
One of those providers is Rich Urban.
He evaluates houses to help with more efficient energy use.
"One of the things I try to bring into the discussion is the environmental aspects of their energy bill, their energy usage, and how that impacts the larger world," he says.
The event this year was the highest attended of the three years.
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.
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