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Sparks Will Fly; AEC receives Lincoln Electric Co. Welding Education Grant

Sparks Will Fly; AEC receives Lincoln Electric Co. Welding Education Grant

Recognizing the increasing emphasis on agriscience-teacher welding abilities, Texas Tech University’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication saw the need and applied for a Lincoln Electric Company Welding Education Grant. The result: the department has been selected as one of six institutions from across the nation to receive the new funding.

The grant should allow Tech to upgrade its welding laboratory to meet industry standards and better prepare students to enter the agricultural-education classroom. It will also enable them to host professional-development workshops for current agricultural educators, as well as conduct other forms of outreach for welding education.

“This grant will increase the availability of equipment for students,” said Jon Ulmer, assistant professor in agricultural education. “We don’t really have any Lincoln equipment. Different equipment works differently, and it’s good for students to get to see how the various types of equipment work.”

The new welding equipment is valued at $27,000 and includes seven different welders and a CNC plasma-cutting table. It will be used for teacher training purposes, added Steve Fraze, chairman of Tech’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communications. Not only will the new equipment be beneficial in replacing old equipment, it will greatly increase the department’s capacity to keep students on task for greater periods of time.

As part of the fulfillment of the second level of the grant, team members will:

  • Promote the James F. Lincoln Foundation
  • Conduct one welding instructor workshop for instructors in the state
  • Complete one outreach, instructional development and research initiative
  • Develop a unit of instruction utilizing welding as the medium to teach science, technology, engineering and math.

Grant faculty team members included Ulmer and David Lawver, along with welding instructor Dennis Pate, and undergraduate student Wes Wicker.

Program officials note that the James F. Lincoln Foundation, founded in 1936, is dedicated to educating the public about the art and science of arc welding. Formed when the arc welding industry was in its infancy, it’s now in its seventh decade of publishing educational texts and granting awards to recognize technical achievement

Written by Faith Jurek

CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2816 or

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