High school students have a lot to think about, and what to do following high school often tops their list. Introducing students to careers in engineering, and getting them to rethink what might be out-of-date assumptions about the world of manufacturing, tops our list.
The Kennametal Foundation’s Young Engineers Program strives to get high school students not only thinking about careers in engineering and manufacturing, but actually designing and creating new products through hands-on experience. Fourteen students from Greater Latrobe High School recently became the fifth class to complete the program at Kennametal’s Latrobe, Pa., campus.
Throughout the semester, students get a taste of real-world engineering and manufacturing. They are taught and mentored by Kennametal engineers and scientists, and develop innovative products as part of the course. The most recent class was divided into four project teams and tasked with taking a product to market using Kennametal’s product development process, which factors in a product’s cost, weight, size, and strength.
Projects included a swing set, and portable items like a chair, table, and cooler. Students designed, constructed, and presented their projects to the class of Young Engineers. Throughout the process they learn manufacturing and marketing procedures, as well.
The Young Engineers Program is fast-paced and encompasses instruction; the engineering/manufacturing/marketing process a new product must follow; plant tours in Bedford, Pa., and Solon, Ohio; and community outreach.