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Wood County Technical Center students take on Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

A student from the Wood County Technical Center/Caperton Center for Applied Technologies works on an app in the challenge by the Explore the New Manufacturing, a program of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Explore the New Manufacturing, a program of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund, has announced the completion of a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge that teamed six students from the Wood County Technical Center/Caperton Center for Applied Technologies and DuPont.

The challenge required the students to develop an app to increase employee efficiency by providing access to information related to the facility, products and their job roles. Jared Voldness, pre-engineering & computer science instructor, was the adviser to the student team.

“I was impressed with the app that the student team created and I liked that it was connected to a Microsoft SharePoint site,” Mary’beth Ramey, control systems engineer at DuPont, said.

In preparation for the challenge, students were given an in-depth virtual tour of the DuPont Washington Works site. The tour included employee commentary about their jobs and why they chose to work in manufacturing.

The DuPont team identified six key personnel roles closest to the process: process operator, lab operator, maintenance technician, E&I technician, process engineer and control systems engineer. The challenge concluded with a team presentation where the students explained how they designed the app to meet DuPont’s requirements.

The students also discussed challenges they encountered when they attempted to incorporate a map feature in the app.

“I am thoroughly impressed with the solution that the students have created during this Manufacturing Innovation Challenge,” Wood County Superintendent William Hosaflook, who attended the presentation, said. “I would like to thank Dupont for providing this opportunity for the students,” commented Hosaflook.

Participating students were Lucian Baumgartner, Breanna Kelly, Leah Johnston, Mikey Meyer, Hunter Morrison and Riley Street. DuPont team members were Ramey, Greg Westbrook and Michael Floyd.

Explore’s Manufacturing Innovation Challenge allows high school student teams to solve real-world problems faced by West Virginia manufacturers. Each challenge is unique and can come from a variety of aspects of the company’s operations.

Students learn how problem-solving skills are a critical element to job performance. The challenge concludes with a formal team presentation, after which students and manufacturers discuss the feasibility of implementing the solution.

The experience illustrates how teamwork, adaptability and communication skills are used to implement the industry’s solutions.

Explore the New Manufacturing brings together tomorrow’s workforce with local and regional manufacturing companies to inform students of educational and career opportunities in the manufacturing industry. For more information visit www.exploremfgwv.com.

Explore the New Manufacturing is looking for schools and companies to take part in next year’s MIC program and its What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contests, Explore the New Manufacturing Academies and regional Scrap Competitions. For more information, contact Tom Reed at tom@wvma.com or (304) 612-4912.

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