This week I took my students on a field trip. This is my second year taking my engineering classes on a field trip to Standridge Color Corp. to show the students the true potential of the equipment in our lab. The students work with the equipment that fits on a tabletop and cut plastic and steel but when they go on the trip the equipment is ten to twenty times bigger and is cutting stainless steel and aluminum. Standridge is a company that produces plastic color pelts, sleeves, and silk. They produce material for diapers, Mountain Dew bottles, the soles of Nike shoes, nurse gowns, and many other things that contain plastic. The companies ask for specific types of plastic, then Standridge produces it in pelts, and the company melts it down to the product.
The most impressive thing about the company is that they build and maintain all their equipment on site so they don’t have to rely on outside factories to build parts. Standridge buys the materials and uses the same machines that we have in the classroom to replace broken parts. The students are always surprised at the size of the equipment and its what it can do. The company also has water jets that have the capability to cut through 6 inches of stainless steel.
Overall the field trip helps give the student an idea on what the equipment in our classroom can do. Last year we went on the trip and one of my students brought his resume and got a job at Standridge and is working there his senior year as a senior. They started him off at $15.00 an hour and he has been promoted since he started. I also had another senior start in January at the same rate. The company believes in hiring high school level employees because it allows them to be modeled easier than college level. Overall this was a great experience for my students. I think in CTAE it is so important to expose the students to the applications of the classroom lessons, and field trips seem to be a great way to do this.