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Contrapt Wisconsin middle school competition coming to WCTC Friday, April 21!

contrapt team -Stem422-2

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Monday, April 17, 2023) – Hammering a nail may seem like a simple and straightforward task, but do to so in eight (or more) steps takes trial and error, creativity, planning and more. That’s where STEM Forward’s Contrapt Wisconsin middle school contraption competition comes into play.

Waukesha County Technical College will host one of two Contrapt Wisconsin events for middle school students on Friday, April 21, in the College’s Anthony J. Natalizio Center. (A second event will be held at Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center on May 12).

Contrapt Wisconsin is STEM Forward’s engaging middle school “contraption” competition where students build a machine to accomplish a simple task in a fun, complicated and complex way. It gives students the chance to work on skills involving engineering, simple machines, trial and error, project planning, physics, teamwork and creativity.  WCTC is eager to host and be involved with the competition, to help middle school students hone their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, and to encourage them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.

“With the strong STEM academic programs here at WCTC, we take a lot of pride in being able to partner with STEM Forward to provide this experience for these students,” said Tim Alft, Ph.D., WCTC associate dean of Automation, Architecture and Apprenticeships. “It’s really critical to capture these students’ interest at a young age so they can build on these experiences up until the time when they will be making decisions about their careers.”

Members of WCTC’s faculty will be among the professional engineer volunteer judges who will provide valuable feedback to students, and WCTC staff will lead campus tours to give participants a glimpse of the many STEM programs available at the College.

The event officially begins at 10 a.m., with three rounds of judging from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Student tours of WCTC are planned from 12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. with an awards ceremony from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m.

Schools/districts participating in the April 21 event at WCTC include:

  • Christian Education Leadership Academy -- Pewaukee (4 teams)
  • Coulee Christian School – West Salem (2 teams)
  • Golda Meier School – Milwaukee (6 teams)
  • Kiel Middle School -- Kiel (4 teams)
  • Waukesha STEM Academy – Saratoga Campus (8 teams)
  • Wheatland Center School - Burlington (8 teams)
  • Pilgrim Park Middle School – Elm Grove (2 teams)

Contrapt Wisconsin is made possible by several sponsors in addition to WCTC and MSOE. They include: Brauer Family, Rockwell Automation, CentroMotion, Milwaukee Tool, ATC, A.O. Smith, Generac, Harley-Davidson, Eaton Corp., InSinkerator/Whirlpool, Badger Meter, Marquette University and Sentry Equipment.

To learn more about the contraption machine contests, visit

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeships and short-term certificate programs; customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit