Chamber will give students a taste of real life

Eau Claire business leaders and local school districts are taking part in a simulation next month that will give more than 300 students an idea of challenges they will face after graduation.

High school students from Eau Claire, Altoona, Augusta and Fall Creek will participate in The Real Life Academy on April 10 at The Halls at The Lismore in downtown Eau Claire, according to a news release from the Eau Claire Chamber Educational Foundation.

Prior to arriving at the one-day event, the students have researched and selected their prospective careers and participated in classroom lessons to teach them how to manage money.

Each student in The Real Life Academy will start with the profession they hope to be in after completing school, the average paycheck for that job and a family status.

During the simulation, students will then visit 29 stations ranging from housing, transportation, groceries, insurance and other expenses of adult life so they learn how to budget their income.

To help teach financial literacy, The Real Life Academy has been held since fall 2004. There are two academies each year — one in spring and the other in fall.

Parking ramp technology idea wins contest

RIVER FALLS — Artificial intelligence software that makes it cheaper and easier to run parking ramps won an annual business idea contest held at UW-River Falls.

Graduate students Jiaxin Li and Lakshmi Priya Girish Kumar, along with student Soren Netka took first place in the university’s Innovation Challenge on March 13.

Their idea, Unmanned Ramp Manager, uses automated license plate detection technology to reduce operating costs and boost efficiency in vehicle parking ramps.

The team won a $2,000 cash prize and advances to the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, which will be held April 13 in Milwaukee.

Short Takes

• CHIPPEWA FALLS — Local auto dealer Chilson recently opened a fully renovated RV center named Chilson Outdoor Adventure RV, 2031 S. Prairie View Road, Lake Hallie.

From staff reports