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Educating High School Students And Teachers In Rapid Prototyping And Manufacturing Technologies

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Outreach and Recruitment

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.493.1 - 9.493.10

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Paper Authors

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Yogesh Thakar

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Vinay Kadekar

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Todd Sparks

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Ashok Agrawal

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Frank Liou

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Todd Sparks, Vinay Kadekar, Yogesh Thakar, Frank Liou University of Missouri-Rolla

Ashok K Agarwal St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley


Presented in the paper is an analysis of the experience of teaching rapid prototyping technology to groups of high school students and teachers at a workshop sponsored by NSF during the summer of 2003. This workshop was a collaboratory effort between the University of Missouri-Rolla and the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. Its purpose was to expose high school students and teachers to manufacturing technology in the hope of impacting their career choices. The material presented within the workshop was modified during the course of the summer. The paper reports results of the changes through workshop attendee feedback.

I. Introduction

It is a common misconception that jobs in the manufacturing industry consist of only machine operators. However, industry’s needs are much broader. Manufacturing is more than machining. The personnel needed by the industry must be able to perform multiple functions from design to distribution. In other words, the manufacturing industry needs to be seen holistically – as a complete system involving many people of different educational backgrounds. Companies are looking for individuals with diverse technical expertise to perform multiple functions in support of their manufacturing enterprises.

Many youth and adults have little knowledge of engineering and manufacturing career options. Parents, teachers, and educators lack exposure to the understanding of highly technical manufacturing world. Early education is a key element in engineering and manufacturing career awareness.

Rapid Prototyping is an emerging technology in manufacturing. It is a technique which is a fast and effective way to develop the prototype parts from their CAD models directly. These parts serve the purpose of design evaluation in the early stages of the product life cycle.

The intent of this contribution is to describe the experiences from the NSF-sponsored Discover Manufacturing Workshop conducted at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. The emphasis of the workshop was on exposing the 42 attending high school students and 21 attending teachers to manufacturing technologies with the goal of creating awareness to emerging career opportunities in manufacturing.

Interactive course content with hands on experience was the key towards the success of this program. This paper also discusses the audience background and interests before the workshop. The information about the feedback and observations has been found enlightening and mentioned in the paper.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Thakar, Y., & Kadekar, V., & Sparks, T., & Agrawal, A., & Liou, F. (2004, June), Educating High School Students And Teachers In Rapid Prototyping And Manufacturing Technologies Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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