Integrating core academics with real-world relevance is the focus of a partnership between Lincoln County High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) students and Fayetteville industry Copperweld Bimetallics, LLC.
“This was a way for us to help students gain hands-on experience,” said Shannon Danielson, human resources manager for Copperweld. “It’s also something we enjoy doing – we’re extremely proud of our school system, so we welcome opportunities to partner in programs that benefit our youth’s education.”
The most recent project, which has brought the two together, revolves around helping students experience a practical application in manufacturing with the production of 50 aluminum spools, or bobbins as they’re known in the trade, said Lynn Patterson, Copperweld’s manager of facilities and engineering, explaining that it typically takes seven bobbins mechanically coordinated in one piece of equipment to twist strands of wire together.
Copperweld provided the materials for the project. Students were given blocks of aluminum about one-inch thick, which had to be precision cut into circles to form the tops and bottoms of the spools. Holes were then reamed in the center connecting cylinder, as well as into the fabricated tops and bottoms, and the sections were then bolted together.
“The students were taught to use a computer operated CNC machine,” said Randy Anderson, CTE Trade and Industry teacher at the high school, explaining that CNC equipment – Computer Numerical Control machines – are automated milling devices used to make industrial components without direct human assistance. “Using this equipment, they have to learn how to program the software.
“It’s real-world work that gives students a feel for something that’s common in industry,” Anderson said.
And it’s an example of how local industries such as Copperweld are helping CTE programs change, evolve and innovate to better serve the country’s needs. Located in Fayetteville since 1975, Copperweld is a global leader in the manufacturing of bimetallic products.