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News Article

Otis North America Engages "Junior Mechanics" at Kids Build Wisconsin


Otis’ Wisconsin-based branches in Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay partnered with Kids Building Wisconsin recently to participate in the third annual science and engineering event. Throughout the day, Otis employees shared their knowledge of engineering with “junior mechanics” by using mock elevator devices to inspire the minds of tomorrow's industry leaders.

Kids Building Wisconsin focuses on getting children interested in the numerous exciting careers available in the construction industry and promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities in the local community.

"Partnering with Kids Building Wisconsin was a very rewarding experience for all of us Otis volunteers,” said Renee Rutkowski, branch manager, Otis Madison. “We are constantly striving as a team to find ways to enhance local STEM programs and engage with the future of our industry. Setting up the different elevator demonstrations allowed us to apply our expertise and provide a creative way to engage with these young minds.”

Demonstrations included teaching about hoistway wind resistance by using a wind tunnel that was created by Doug Grant, mechanic, Otis Green Bay. It was activated by the Company's own infrared door protection device, OptiguardTM.

Dan VanDenElzen, a retired Otis Green Bay elevator mechanic, spent the day demonstrating how elevator doors operated by having kids crush soda cans while using an elevator door operator. Rick Jandora, general manager, Otis Milwaukee and Susan Marx, administrative coordinator, Otis Madison, worked with the future tradesman by building and operating miniature traction elevator kits.

Lindsay Parks, account manager, Otis Madison, Rebecca Towne, business development manager, Otis Milwaukee and Renee Rutkowski, taught the junior mechanics about elevator fixtures and helped them create individual car operating panels and hall button stations out of paper.

The perimeter of the tent was lined in elevator and escalator safety signs specifically tailored to children. All of the Otis-sponsored activities helped kids gain an understanding of how elevators are designed, how they operate and safe passenger use.

The Kids Building Wisconsin event invites junior mechanics to attend the free, all-day event featuring dozens of exhibits and stations run by local businesses and industry professionals. The event is designed to inspire the next generation by providing hands-on experience with the processes involved in construction.