The AAIHL Experience: Spiros, Marquette and Alligator Holding.



The ACADEMIC and ATHLETIC INSTITUTE for HIGHER LEARNING. Had a five day and five night event where student’s smiles were as wide as the sea. This year‘s AAHIL was like no other. We took extended learning, experiential learning and community service to a new level of fun!


Students enjoyed three learning opportunities visiting Spiros, Marquette and Alligator Holding. Spiros cofounder Dennis Backhaus is a true faf ABP. Spiros (Spring Manufacturing Company) team opened up their finance, research and innovation department, giving the students a chance to work with the accounting and booking team showing them how and why math and reading is so important in what they do everyday. An example of this was demonstrated when they showed different types and sizes of springs as well as the many items we use everyday that need them.


Then two days were spent at Marquette University with Dr. Cullian with the college of health and science department. Students received knowledge about the major causes of injuries, most commonly an ACL tear and how it impacts a players performance and ability to play sports. Students spent time in the lab being able to see and interact with real human ACL parts. Also spending time in a bio lab, looking at how to predict and prevent the injuries student athletes go through while playing sports. On the second day students took a trip to the visualization lab, where they were able to explore and interact with a real human brain seeing how different sports injuries can affect the way the brain works.


Finally students went to visit Alligator Holdings (LLC) taking a tour, showing the tools people use in everyday life. One being a water filter. Students saw how robotics were used to design modes of different products. Also they received a keychain manufactured by the company. On the second day they were given a project where they were put through the entire process of production (purchasing, materials, equipment and machining) of what it cost to make the keychain itself. They focused on working as a team, communication as well as their planning skills. They needed to use math fundamentals to come up with a cost for how much they were paid for the project as well as the final cost of the keychain. It was fun and competitive!


The work doesn't stop but a little fun never hurts anyone. Student athletes reached out and connected with other outlets. Helping them keep a list of wellness viewpoints. Spending several days at Bradford beach doing team building exercises and playing volleyball. In the evening they played miniature golf as well as arcade games at Dave & Busters. With some determination students hiked 2.4 miles to Pike Lake and closed out the event with a 14 mile bike ride to Mckinley Beach.


Took a night to clean up McGovern park playground where they sat and listened to Alderman Khalif Rainey who encouraged the student athletes that they were on the right path. AAIHL collected 6 bags of trash. Finally enjoying a few games of basketball with the local kids


The entire experience was amazing!

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