Eighth-graders from Warren City Schools recently gained some hands-on experience at mass producing a product during a visit to America Makes in Youngstown.
The students, from the district’s four PK-8 schools, attended the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Day event at American Makes. The event was sponsored by American Makes and the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition (MVMC).
School counselors from Jefferson, Lincoln, McGuffey and Willard schools, chose 36 students, collectively, to attend. They were chosen based on their responses to various surveys that they complete in their classes as well as in Naviance, the online platform used to support students’ exploration of their interests and how those interests can help them discover what they want to do after graduation.
The students worked in small teams brainstorming and using the design process to manufacture a product, using a budget, creating a prototype, and presenting their products to their peers and local manufacturers. The produced prototypes for wheels for a car. However, they soon discovered that it wasn’t just about making a wheel, but rather the process to efficiently and economically mass producing a product.
The experience was an opportunity for the students to experience engineering, design and modern manufacturing happening right here in the Valley, organizers explained.
The Ten80 Education group facilitated the team through the entire process while representatives from local manufacturing industries mentored the groups. The industries included Brilex, FoxConn, Valllourec, City Machine Technologies, Hynes Industries, America Makes, and the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition.
In addition to those industries mentoring, they also provided an “Open House,” or forum, along with Schwebels and Linde, for students to ask questions and learn more about what the different companies do as the adults shared about their industries.
Local manufacturers shared real-life examples and challenges they face during the Engineering Design Cycle, and tools that support their efforts (blue-prints, proto-typing, problem-solving, etc.)