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At Chiloquin Junior/Senior High School, every student received a reusable water bottle embellished with the school’s panther logo and etched with their name.

With water fountains out of commission due to COVID-19, the bottle fill station is the only place for students to get a drink during the day. However, not every student had their own reusable water bottle.

The water bottles with the panther logo were funded by the Gear-Up program, which contributed extra resources this year to support schools in navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

Students in Rob Dunham’s shop classes used a laser etcher to engrave names on each bottle. Eighth-graders Lizzie Bonomo-Raines and Dani Brandt, along with high school students Veronica Bethmann, Autumn Biernot, Ana Shanks, and Chad Maly worked on the project and delivered the completed bottles to their peers.

The laser etcher was a new addition to the shop this school year, and students said they enjoyed using the new technology to benefit their classmates.

“I like working on the water bottles because it’s fun to use new and different technology,” Biernot said.

Maly, a senior, agreed. “The equipment looks complicated but it’s fairly simple to use,” he said.

Students were excited to get their personalized water bottles, and the bottle fill station is getting a lot more use these days.

Seventh-grader Kyrah Schlee said she is definitely drinking more water.

“It’s been nice having a water bottle for school because I didn’t have one before,” she said. “I fill it up all the time.”