Something that started out as a possible Boy Scout project ended up as a generous gift to Wonewoc-Center schools from a Baraboo business man.
Tom Keller, scoutmaster for the local Boy Scout Troop 119, said, "Two years ago in the fall, the Wonewoc and Baraboo troops toured the Resonance Research Corporation in Baraboo prior to them shipping their electric projects to customers. We thought it would be a good idea to earn an electricity merit badge for our scouts."
He said the display was amazing and several youth and adults were interested in finding out more about it. In stepped D.C. Cox, who was instrumental in helping provide the school with their own Tesla coil.
A Tesla coil is an electric transformer used to produce high voltages of electricity. For example, it transforms 120 volts of electricity to 15,000 volts.
June 7, Cox helped demonstrate the ultra-reliable electrical exhibit at the school.
Cox said, "I am the owner of the business, which I started 45 years ago. Most coils are built for science museums and schools along with some movies such as "Criss Angel: Mindfreak" and are sold around the world."
He provided a PowerPoint presentation for students, along with telling the history of inventors of the generation of high frequency currents.
Cox said the equipment would have cost about $6,000 if built for a customer.
Instead, the project was very labor intensive for the scouts. Keller, of Wonewoc, his son Alan, a seventh grader at the time, and Jace Rick, a fourth grader, spent a week last summer camping near Baraboo and working on the equipment at the shop.
In addition, Paul Ziebell, science teacher at W-C middle school and his son, Josiah, also helped with the construction project.
Building the coil was a dynamic, hands-on learning session for the students.
Keller said, "D.C. walked them through how the components were hooked up."
Cox said, "I also asked them what the parts were, such as the transformer, what they do and about the primary and secondary coil."
He said the youth also needed to be able to diagram the project before starting.
Keller said the students were then able to participate in Teslafest 2009, which is held at Resonance Research Corp., and demonstrated and explained the technology to the public.
Other business owners donated items for constructing the coil. Keller said Hammond Power Solutions donated the fine wire for the secondary coil; the Carpet Center provided the cardboard tube; Fearings TV of Reedsburg donated the motor blower and Runick Metal Recycling of Wonewoc donated the ground wire.
Resonance Research Corporation's museum quality products have provided a gateway to science awareness, offered exhibits for science education, and promoted experimental learning.