College's Mobile Plastics Lab to Visit Central Mountain High School

Published 11.22.2005

Polymer Engineering

Pennsylvania College of Technology will take its mobile plastics lab to Central Mountain High School, Mill Hall, from Dec. 2-22, offering students a unique opportunity to experience the ever-growing plastics industry.

The lab includes four units, all assembled by Penn College plastics and polymer engineering technology students. The units represent four of the primary processes that are used to manufacture plastic parts. Each unit includes a scaled-down version of industry-standard equipment, as well as the instructions, materials and tools needed to use it.

The four units are an injection molder, a blow molder, a thermoformer and a rotational molder. The lab began circulating to high schools throughout Pennsylvania during the 2004-05 school year, providing exposure in those that do not have their own plastics equipment or have little of it. The lab has been used in technical courses and chemistry classes.

Penn College created the mobile plastics lab to help build interest among high school students in material, process and design careers available in the plastics industry. At least 1,500 plastics companies call Pennsylvania their home, and many say there are not enough students entering the field to meet the increasing demand. The average salary for new Penn College plastics graduates is $40,600.

Costs to support the development and start-up of the mobile plastics lab were offset by donations from the plastics industry.

A student from the Penn College plastics program escorts the lab to each high school to set up the equipment and provide high school students and faculty with an introduction to equipment operation and safety.

In addition, each school that uses the equipment must send at least one teacher to a summer training program at Penn College to learn to use and teach with the mobile lab.

For more information about plastics education at Penn College, career opportunities in the plastics field and the Penn College mobile lab project, call (570) 327-4520 or send e-mail .