College Faculty Member Works With Middle Schoolers on Fundraiser
A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member's volunteer time presenting "Brown Bag Lunch" sessions at Curtin Middle School resulted in both a hands-on manufacturing experience and a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
John M. Good III, instructor of automation and computer-integrated manufacturing, presented eight sessions for the sixth- to eighth-grade students, offering them insight into the world of manufacturing engineering with such topics as robotics, hydraulics, pneumatics and computer-aided design, and nanotechnology.
"I wanted to make them familiar with areas they're not exposed to," Good said.
Curtin's Brown Bag Lunch program is a gifted/enrichment opportunity open to all seventh- and eighth-graders and a limited number of sixth-graders during the lunch period. It is provided by a team of teachers at the middle school.
"The Brown Bag Lunch program is a wonderful opportunity for our students to have community members bring enriching experiences to Curtin," said Marcia McCann, a teacher at the school who coordinates Brown Bag activities. "Often times, students' career interests peak in middle school, and allowing students to get a glimpse of what a career involves sparks a great interest in a particular field.
"Curtin is fortunate to have a relationship with both Penn College and Lycoming College to help make this a program worthwhile for students."
Just before Thanksgiving, during a computer-aided design session, Good offered students a hands-on project creating a three-dimensional pyramid.
"They were really interested and motivated by that," Good said, so he asked if they would like to do more.
With the students' interest, Good developed a product for them to manufacture a sled ornament made from five popsicle sticks and three toothpicks. He made tooling and stamps to allow the students to cut and stamp the popsicle sticks and drill holes for the toothpicks, creating a standardized product.
"I emphasized what manufacturing engineers do," Good said. "Not only do they make things, but they make the tools to make things."
In their 35-minute sessions, the students made about 100 sleds.
"Originally, the students had a production goal in mind to give the Curtin sled ornaments to faculty and staff as a token of appreciation," McCann said. "However, the students were definitely all on board when it was suggested that the money go toward Curtin's Relay for Life team, and all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society."
Sleds were sold for a $1 donation at a winter choral concert, raising $185 for the American Cancer Society.
"And better yet, after learning about our Relay for Life team, a parent initiated a dress-down day at her place of employment and raised an additional $50 for Curtin's Relay for Life team," McCann said.
Other opportunities that encompass Curtin's Brown Bag Lunch program are a chess club, open gym, Lego league, art club and a stock-market game sponsored by EconomicsPennsylvania.
Good is interested in providing sessions at more schools, and on more topics, including recycling and alternative energy.
To learn more about manufacturing engineering technology and other academic programs offered by the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies at Penn College, call 570-327-4520 or visit online .
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