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      Industrial Technology students at OHS prepare for state competition

      OHS technology students display the projects headed to the State Expo this weekend.

      This week is the week industrial technology students at Ottumwa High School wait for all year.

      The students will be bringing several projects to the state expo in Des Moines Friday. Some of the projects headed to state include a bale ring for hay and a tire hitch. Both those projects were chosen out of practicality by senior Jim Milani.

      "The bale ring is because I work on a farm and we tear a lot of them up, so I figured I'd make some and save some money," he said. "And the spare tire mount, it's just a problem having them underneath the truck, so we figured we'd make a front bumper one."

      Each of the students has put in countless hours preparing for state and walk away with some great experience.

      "I just learned how to really put bale rings together, even though I've never done it before," said senior Seth Staton. "I've learned a lot this year about it."

      Junior Christopher Pilcher will be displaying a model car at the competition, a project he calls "a long one".

      "My dad originally told me to build something I could go have fun on and then it evolved into this," Pilcher said. "I've been working on this for the past year."

      The students will also be bringing a high mileage car. Last year, the OHS entries took fourth and fifth place, so this year, the students are looking to improve on that.

      "We had an aluminum body last year, now we switched to all steel, just one bar instead of the two rails," said junior Austin Wheaton. "Cut out a bunch of holes, just everything we could to lose weight."

      Wheaton said last year, the cars got around 200-300 miles per gallon, so they're hoping this year's car gets about 400 miles.

      The tech expo is held all day Friday, May 9 at Southeast Polk High School.