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learn about systematic design processes, tolerances and fi ts, dimensioning practices, manufacturing processes, strength of materials, and many other physics principles. For instance, the students are required to review the ro- bots’ motor specifi cations and based on its torque, calculate the tangential force of the wheels or pushing power of the ro- bot. They are currently exploring ways to capture the impact force of the rotating weapon. The students design the cir- cuitry of the robot, learning about parallel and series circuits. If time constraints or lack of process capability prevents the students from manufacturing parts, the students will actively participate in outsourcing of the parts. As with any project, things don’t always go smoothly, so the students learn valuable problem-solving skills through systematic testing and analysis. They also learn about the cost impact of tolerances. Based on the students’ desig- nated tolerances, they look at the processes required to


C+ language to program determined tasks. This is a valuable activity that enhances a student’s logical thinking through programming and mechanical assembly that is entirely de- signed by the students.


3D printing has become a major component of Center-


ville’s engineering program. We have started an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program where students design and experience additive build processes to develop peripheral devices used on the UAS, such as propeller guards, modular connectivity for cameras and picking devices, and supports for the UAS. We currently have students designing the com- plete UAS frame components to be 3D printed and assem- bled. The next step in this endeavor is to defi ne applications where the UAS can be useful such as traffi c fl ow studies, overhead coverage of football practices, rooftop visuals of HVAC systems etc. These will be limited to school applica- tions for now, due to FAA regulations.


“We have started an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program where students design and experience additive build processes to develop peripheral devices used on the UAS.”


manufacture parts and the cost impact that the process has on the part. They look closely at form, fi t and function so they can accurately tolerance a part to achieve a targeted cost. Just as important as the technical aspects of the project, the students are on teams. They learn the importance of team- work and how to interact with others to achieve a common goal. Ultimately, our students have been very successful, tak- ing fi rst place several times throughout the last seven years. A smaller yet benefi cial activity that the students partici- pate in is designing and building a small tabletop catapult. This allows the students to further their knowledge of design, machine tool processes, and physics. Once the catapult is manufactured, students video the trajectory of the projectile and calculate various physics components utilizing the kine- matics motion formulas. Students also learn about sensor technology and


Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) through program- ming parts feeders used in material handling and performing exercises on training boards that include electro-pneumatics (cylinders, valves, limit switches etc.). They learn ladder logic programming and automation and control techniques. Utilizing VEX Engineering kits, the students also perform structured programming activities using RobotC, a hybrid


Not only do the students acquire practical application in


the classroom, they also participate in job shadowing during their senior year at various companies in the Dayton/Cincinnati area. During a two-week period, they will visit at least three companies and sit with an engineer or manufacturing-support person. Adding to the job shadowing activities, we have placed a couple of students in a local robotics manufacturer three days a week as interns. Our objective is to get all seniors placed in some kind of an internship every year as part of the Engineering program, allowing students to work 12–15 hours/ week for a semester. Several companies throughout the area have expressed an interest in participating. In summary, Centerville’s engineering program offers a prac-


tical approach to learning engineering fundamentals. This better prepares the student to be a solid and more effective problem solver in college and in a future engineering career.


Dan Stacy


BS Industrial Technology | MS Industrial Technology Engineering Instructor, Centerville (OH) High School Dan has also been in Manufacturing Engineering management for 25 years and is an SME member.


April 2015 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 135


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