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Stevenson MADE students ride the past to imagine their future

Stevenson students riding swing bikeLearning at Stevenson High School is a great ride!

Students from the Stevenson Center for Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering (MADE) recently looked to the past to see where their futures can take them.

The students had a first-hand look at the swing bike – a design created in 1890 that envisioned the future of transportation.

“The swing bike has every element that we teach at MADE in it,” said MADE teacher Kallan Kriewall. “From welding and fabrication, to hydraulics and automation, to designed thinking. My goal is by the end of their 4 year tenure at MADE, students will be able to understand every factor in producing large projects such as this and one day be able to build anything they can dream of using what they learned here.”

The swing bike was a life’s dream of Kriewall’s grandfather Ed Kriewall, along with General Motors Engineer Bud Stordahl.

The pair were told it was an impossible build when they being in 1989 to work with employees at Kriewall Enterprises to build a model of a design that had been in Ed Kriewall’s wallet for 29 years.

“With a 20 horse koeler engine, dual hydrostatic transmissions, dual hydraulic motors, and a one of a kind custom made hydraulic control value for steering… the project took 12 full weeks, 11 of which were to fabricate the wheels,” Kriewall said.

The final project was unveiled at Detroit's Autorama that year.

“No one knew how it would handle, but by faith and hard, quality work, they succeeded,” he said.

While Ed Kriewall has passed away, his swing bike is continuing to inspire and bring smiles to a new generation. This is the second time the swing bike was demonstrated to Stevenson MADE students. 

“I thought the experience was an amazing opportunity,” MADE senior Alexi Resio said. "It shows what you can do when you combine all of our pathways together. It also gave the kids outside of MADE an outlook into our program to show how we can all affect the world in the future with the skills that we have.” 

Senior Elizabeth Meier compared the experience of riding the bike to being on a Ferris wheel.

“The thing that struck me most about the bike was that it was all made by hand,” she said.  “There were so many intricate details that went into constructing it, and tpo me that was super cool.”

Kriewall believes his grandfather’s legacy will be showing students that the sky is the limit when it comes to imagining their future.

“This schooling will last a lifetime, and be both enjoyable and rewarding as well as a gateway to living a successful life,” he said. “By bringing something to life, and giving hands on learning, it opens new dreams and horizons that our youth need more now than ever.”