Insight on Manufacturing

July 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 34

educatio n & tr aining Chopping it up "It's an absolutely phenomenal opportunity for kids through the course of a year to produce the end product of a motorcycle step-by-step." – Tom Ellenbecker, Mishicot High School principal 14 | An innovative project in Manitowoc County aims to rev up an interest in manufacturing among young people – helping to propel them toward the technical careers that need skilled workers. The Mini-Chopper program currently operates in four Manitowoc County schools with help from the local Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) and local company sponsors. Student teams design and assemble mini-choppers, or small motorcycles that incorporate corporate sponsor logos, to exhibit each spring at the Annual Northeastern Wisconsin Charity Motorcycle Show, sponsored by the Ant Hill Motorcycle Club, Ltd., and Hoban's Cycle on Osman. The project started 10 years ago at Appleton's Fox Valley Technical College (see sidebar). Karen Szyman, executive director of the Chamber of Manitowoc County, says, "Each bike is different; all are beautiful. They incorporate sponsor logos and colors (for instance, on seat covers or gas tanks)." The choppers may sport components from sponsoring companies, such as lug nuts or metals. Bikes are displayed at the Chamber and EDC and have been shown at the Manitowoc County Fair, as well as in sponsors' lobbies and showrooms. Student work is monitored. Production adheres to a timeline with reports on tasks accomplished, particular challenges, plans and / insight on manufacturing • July 2013 courtesy t wo rivers high school Mini-Chopper program helps build student enthusiasm for manufacturing By Barb Axelson Students at Two Rivers High School build a mini-chopper, a program launched at Fox Valley Technical College and brought to Manitowoc County to help engage young people in manufacturing and help open up future career options for them. budgeting. Representatives from sponsors stay in close touch with students and teachers, who spend weekends and evenings on the project, particularly as April nears. "It's an absolutely phenomenal opportunity for kids through the course of a year to produce the end product of a motorcycle step-by-step," says Mishicot High School principal Tom Ellenbecker. Last year around 70 students applied to join a team, which they do the spring before they undertake a project. They planned and streamlined production with help from tech ed teachers, corporate mentors and Ant Hill Mob bikers, who are primarily Harley riders. LTC opened its facilities and also presented classes on safety, and junior college credits were available to students. w w s i g h t o n m f g .c o m

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Insight on Manufacturing - July 2013