SCIOTO — Students in the Scioto County Career Technical Center’s Engineering Program recently had the opportunity to partner with the Southern Ohio Trail Association for a community project.
The students machined and painted signs that will be placed at Shawnee State Forest, on their Bridle Trails. Jim Cooper and Dave McDaniel, both volunteers for the Southern Ohio Trail Association, have been helping with maintenance for around 20 years.
“We really appreciate the help. We will probably never have to replace these,” Cooper said.
Cooper explained this is the third time they have had to replace the signs since he has been helping, but thinks that the material they used this time, shouldn’t have to be replaced for a long time.
“We hope it was a learning experience for the kids,” McDaniel said.
“We always enjoy the opportunity to have local community projects for the students to work on,” said Craig Tackett, Engineering Instructor at Scioto County CTC. “The students really like applying what they learn to the real world and seeing their work help the public.”
Tackett shared programs like these are important for the students at the SCCTC.
“Our students have done some projects for the community before, but this is the first project that we had worked on for Shawnee Forest. This group did not get to go out and see the signs being placed. The volunteers from Shawnee brought the signs to us, then the students started the process of manufacturing them,” Tackett said. “Once they were finished, the volunteers came back and picked them up. On a typical (non-COVID) school year, we probably would have tried to take a trip out to the Forest to help with installation. However, with current health guidelines, field trips are difficult to schedule.”
Justin Tackett, Ramtec Coordinator at Scioto County CTC, assisted the students on the project and had the idea of using composite materials that will last longer than the previous signs.
“It was a cool experience to build something for Shawnee Forest,” Brock Zimmerman, one of the engineering students that worked on the project said.
“It was good to build something that goes to a real-world application,” added fellow student Jett Pahl.
The students went on to explain the process they used to complete the signs.
“We took dimensions of the material and prototyped them in Fusion 360 design software on the computer,” said Pahl. “Then we programmed the tools and toolpaths, and machined them on our HAAS CNC Milling Machine,” added Zimmerman. Next, students used droppers and paintbrushes to fill in the letters with bright paint to allow them to stand out in the forest.
More of these students added, “It allows us to see how a job is handled, a clear view of what customers expect, and practice the process of how deadlines are met in a real-world example,” said Owen Fitch. Gannon Knight said, “It’s cool to see the product of our manufacturing, actually used in the real world. I could go out to Shawnee Forest and see our work on display.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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