Manufacturing Education Series

Vol. 1 2013

A video series from Modern Machine Shop, the SME Education Foundation and AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology describes careers in manufacturing. DVDs were sent to middle and high schools along with these discussion guides.

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does this teacher have the winning formula? feature Does This School Have the Formula for Manufacturing Education? A high school in Wisconsin runs its manufacturing vocational program as a business. Students make parts for paying customers. The program is thriving, cash flow is strong, and local manufacturers can now hire recent graduates who already have experience in meeting customer demands. By Peter Zelinski igh school vocational manufacturing programs have a cost problem. Teaching math, English or history does not require investments in capital equipment. Teaching machining and welding does. In fact, this problem is arguably the crucial challenge confronting vocational programs in school districts throughout the country. When funds are tight, it is the programs with the highest cost overhead that have the hardest time justifying or defending their funding. These programs tend to lose those struggles, and this is why manufacturing vocational programs are often underequipped—a fact that sends a counterproductive message to students. A lack of student interest in manufacturing should not be surprising if those students sense that their school isn't interested either. So what is the solution? For those school systems that are committed to the value of manufacturing instruction, how can a vocational H The students in Cardinal Manufacturing make customer parts on both manual and CNC machines (see photo on next page). Here, teacher Craig Cegielski works with Tom Brazeau. program be funded to a level that is appropriate to this commitment? One high school in western Wisconsin seems to have found an answer. That answer is working, and it has turned this school's manufacturing program around. At Eleva-Strum Central High School in Strum, Wisconsin, the vocational manufacturing program used to be as underresourced as that of any typical high school. About five years ago, things started to change. Today, the program has ample milling and turning equipment, including a CNC machining center and a CNC lathe, as well as sawing and welding capacity and even a towmotor. The program also has enthusiastic enrollment. Students apply for the chance to complete the program, and they are filtered through an interview process. Teacher Craig Cegielski initiated and oversaw the transformation of this school's manufacturing instruction. In essence, he took the disadvantage that is inherent to high school manufacturing programs—the capital equipment overhead—and turned it into an advantage. That equipment is not just overhead, he saw, but also capacity. Volume 1

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