The grade 11 and 12 Advanced Manufacturing courses at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School are not only preparing students for a possible future in the field but providing a lesson on giving back in the process.
Under the direction of Technological Department Head John Ivkovic, students enrolled in the Advanced Manufacturing Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program are developing advanced skills to keep pace with technological change – Industry 4.0. Offered in partnership with ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Mohawk College and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, the program provides high school students with an opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related careers. However, Ivkovic decided to add one more requirement to the class: philanthropy. For the culminating activity, Ivkovic worked with HWCDSB special education resource teachers, consultants, occupational therapists to identify students that have unique needs with the intent of making their lives a little easier.
“Students applied the engineering design process to manufacture technology access solutions for students who have some form of physical barrier from accessing their technology with ease,” he said. “It’s real-world application that’s directly linked to our curriculum, the fact that the students can use their skills to create a product that will improve the lives of another student is extremely meaningful.”
After learning about the specific needs of each student, students were left to design helpful tools, like iPad stands and phone holders that clamp onto a wheelchair that would make day-to-day activities easier. Ivkovic stated that the process started with identifying the specific project needs, researching and imagining potential solutions, and then selecting the most promising solution given the materials and vast technology available to the students. Initial sketches were converted into computer-aided designs (CAD) and then into prototypes that could be evaluated, tested, and improved into the best product it can be.
“It’s an engaging process,” said Ivkovic. “It encourages a growth mindset, develops transferable skills, strengthens critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving. With endless possibilities, what’s arguably more remarkable is how environmentally friendly the process can be, 3D printing for example is an additive process. You only use the material you need as opposed to traditional manufacturing which generally involves removing material to create a desired piece, creating excess waste.”
For the purpose of the course, all items printed are made from polylactic acid – sugar cane and cornstarch, explained Ivkovic. “It’s not only strong, lightweight, cost-effective, and durable, but it’s safe for our students.”
The consumable costs associated with the manufacturing of the technology access solutions were covered by the advanced manufacturing program itself, this ensured that every student had the resources and support they needed to be successful.
In addition to using CAD programs, such as Solidworks for their designs, students utilized a variety of software including slicing software for 3D printing, CO2 Laser etching/cutting software. Students also used computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) software to create programs and toolpaths used to automate the manufacturing process on the school’s computer-numerical-control (CNC) router and vertical mills. The accuracy and precision of the student products using the CNC’s have working tolerances of 0.02mm or .001”, often even less.
“Thanks to the support of organizations such as ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Mohawk College, Manufactuing Skills Standards Council (MSSC), Ontario Council of Technological Education, Canadian Tooling and Machining Association, the Bishop Tonnos Advanced Manufacturing program is quite revolutionary in providing a head start to students interested in the Skilled Trades, Engineering, Mechatronics, and countless other STEM pathways,” said Ivkovic.
Ensuring that the students have access to the latest tools and technologies to keep pace with the rapid technological change that is happening in industry is important. This year, for example, several students have opted to challenge the MSSC certified production technician (CPT) exam certification, and in doing so, they will be the first high school students in the country to challenge and potentially earn this industry accreditation.
For more information on the Bishop Tonnos Advanced Manufacturing program, or inquiries about partnership opportunities, please contact John Ivkovic at firstname.lastname@example.org
Related: https://www.hwcdsb.ca/302514--ArcelorMitta ...