Lt Governor Get STEM Tour In FDL

Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt visited Fond du Lac’s STEM Academy and STEM Institute charter schools, Wednesday, to learn about the schools’ student-lead education initiatives.

After a tour of the Mercury Marine facility, the pair traveled to the STEM Charter Schools, located at 401 S. Military Road, to get a first-hand look at how Mercury Marine’s investment in the schools is impacting students and the community.

The visit began with student-lead tours of the STEM Academy elementary school and STEM Institute middle school, both of which promote hands-on, project-based learning focused on science, technology, engineering and math. The students explained to Kleefisch how the project process and student-lead education programs at the public charter schools differ from traditional school environments while following the same state and district standards as traditional school students.

Institute students, Epiphany Rhoads and Jonah Wilke led the tours, which were attended by Mercury President John Pfeifer, Mercury VP of Human Resources Denise Devereaux, Fond du Lac School District Superintendent Dr. James Sebert, Principal Don Smith and mentor teacher Shanna Martin.

Kleefisch learned how Mercury Marine engineers participate in the students’ education through workshops, such as its recent Women in Engineering Lunch and Learn — a breakout learning seminar hosted by some of the company’s female engineers for the Institute’s female students — and the Pendulum Workshop, a hands-on workshop put on by Mercury Marine engineers to help encourage students to become engineers.

“Many thanks to Lt. Governor Kleefisch and Rep. Thiesfeldt for carving time out of their schedules to visit our schools,” remarked Smith. “We and the Fond du Lac community have an invaluable partner in Mercury Marine. The willingness and cooperation of its engineers are helping to lead our students into future engineering jobs, which are much sought-after positions to fill both in the Fox Valley region and in other areas throughout the state.”

For more information or a tour of the STEM Institute or STEM Academy, visit

Pictured above Rep. Thiesfeldt, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, Principal Don Smith, Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer, and Superintendent Jim Sebert.