From July 16th to July 26th, the Summer Bridge Program for the incoming 9th and 10th grade P-TECH classes were in session.  The Summer Bridge Program was designed to give students a headstart on the school year by getting students involved in electrical and mechanical engineering technology and familiarizing them with some of the manufacturing companies in the Syracuse area. It’s also a great opportunity for the local businesses to begin developing relationships with the students in the P-TECH program.  This year, Darco Manufacturing, Ephesus Lighting, Liftech Equipment, and WestRock took part in the Summer Bridge Program.

The 10th grade class visited Darco Manufacturing on July 17th for a Work Place Challenge where the students are given an actual problem a company is experiencing and have to work to find solutions and/or options for that company’s problem.  The students are challenged to experience and learn how to solve real world problems that businesses deal with every day.  In this case, Darco’s parking lot is unable to handle the number of employee vehicles due to the growth of the company and they are also experiencing flooding issues during heavy rains.  The students worked on finding a solution while staying within a budget, while at the same time working on the logistics and keeping Darco on their production schedule.

Liftech and WestRock representatives came to ITC to give the 9th graders an introduction to their company and provided them with a simple project.  Representatives from Liftech gave the students brochures with specs about their machines.  Greg Miller then outlined the needs of a company for a forklift that could handle a specific amount of weight, the maximum height it requires to load/unload product, and the width of the aisles it needed to travel through.  The students used this exercise to “build” a custom forklift and learn how to find solutions to fit the needs for their clients.  WestRock representatives gave a hands-on learning experience by showing students how to make paper from scratch.

On July 26, the 9th graders visited Ephesus Lighting in Syracuse.  Ephesus Lighting specializes in sports venue lighting in stadiums and large arenas such as Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians), Target Center (Minnesota Timber Wolves), Canadian Tire Center (Ottawa Senators), and University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals).  Students learned how Ephesus’s lights work, what their customers need their lights to do at an event (change colors or strobe effect to help create an atmosphere at the event), and what the future holds for Ephesus Lighting.  Electrical engineering plays a big part at Ephesus, but they also pointed out that mechanical engineering plays an equal role in the development and popularity of their products.  This is one of the many reasons the people at Ephesus feel they have been successful.

Thank you to Darco Manufacturing, Ephesus Lighting, Liftech Equipment, and WestRock for making our Summer Bridge Program such a great experience for our students!