EWI recently hosted two secondary school teachers as part of the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s Manufacturing & Engineering Externship Program (MEEP). Mary Tugend of Metro Early College Middle School (Columbus) and Rosie Matthies of Shawnee High School (Springfield) spent two days shadowing engineers and technicians in EWI’s Columbus facility. They had the experience of learning first-hand – and in many cases, hands-on – about engineering research and how advanced technology can be applied to manufacturing processes and operations.
The teachers toured several labs, discussed how technical solutions to industrial challenges are developed, and got the chance to try out some of the technology themselves. With assistance from EWI staffers, they welded materials using different joining techniques, operated robots, and tested a remote “tele-manufacturing” system. “The engineers were so engaging,” said Rosie, a math and engineering technology teacher. “Their explanations helped us see how all of the technology pieces fit together to solve existing problems. We got a real sense of what EWI does and the services it provides.”
The educators were also introduced to a unique work environment for students who want to go into STEM careers. “We met so many different types of people with a wide mix of backgrounds and skills,” said Mary, a sixth-grade social studies teacher. “Everyone at EWI seems passionate about what they do and eager to collaborate together.”
The goal of the MEEP initiative, which is sponsored nationally by the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense, is to provide teachers with fresh resources for STEM education and to help them introduce students to industrial skills and career opportunities. Mary left EWI with plans to incorporate what she learned into her social studies classes. “EWI’s work deals with real problems. I already have an idea for discussing supply chain issues from a manufacturing perspective into my economics unit.”
Rosie was inspired by many aspects of her externship. “STEM ideas are applied in so many creative ways at EWI – from validating materials before they are used in a product to helping disabled people perform jobs in manufacturing. I have a lot to bring back to my classroom.”
“We were delighted to host two MEEP participants at our facility,” said Kelly Jenkins, EWI Chief Operating Officer. “Experiential programs for educators are key to introducing manufacturing careers to the next generation of workers. Based on their enthusiastic participation in the activities we planned, we know Mary and Rosie will be sharing a lot of positive and exciting information with their students.”
Since 1984, EWI’s comprehensive engineering services have helped companies identify, develop, and implement the best options for their specific applications. Our customers include but are not limited to aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, medical devices, consumer electronics, industrial products, and heavy equipment. By matching our expertise in materials joining, forming, testing, and modeling to the needs of forward-thinking manufacturers, we successfully create practical, efficient, and effective solutions in product design, fabrication, and production. To learn more about EWI, visit ewi.org or call 614.688.5152.