Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Students get boost from business

Pax Machine honors Coldwater youths for STEM designs

By Sydney Albert

Allen Hartings, Jeff Pax and Josh Pax of PAX Machine stand with seventh-graders. . .

CELINA - Two Coldwater seventh-graders got to see the final version of their science, technology, engineering and math challenge design on Thursday before it was put into use at PAX Machine.
Lucas Pohlman and Keegan Bruggeman were shown the final design of their shaker tray holder, engineered by Allen Hartings, as it will be put into use. Pohlman and Bruggeman's design was picked out of about 15 groups of seventh-graders who had been presented with a problem from PAX Machine last year.
PAX Machine, which manufactures parts largely for the automobile industry, had an issue with storing their shaker trays which convey parts and scrap off of their presses. Before, they would lean the trays against the wall and secure them with a bungee cord. Then, after talking with Maggie Rismiller, the teacher of Coldwater's seventh-grade design and modeling class, they decided to let the students have a shot at the problem.
After having been taken on a tour of PAX's facilities in the fall and having seen for themselves what the problem was, the students went to work drawing up design plans and building models out of cardboard, which were presented to PAX during a STEM exhibition night. PAX offered a critique of every group's designs, helping students determine what worked and what didn't before naming Pohlman and Bruggeman as the winners.
Middle school principal Dan Pohlman, father of Lucas Pohlman, said this would be the first of hopefully many such projects on which students could work with local companies.
Bruggeman and Lucas Pohlman both said they enjoyed their class, saying their STEM classes included a lot of building and hands-on activities. Asked if they thought they'd enjoy working on similar projects when they grew up, the boys nodded. Bruggeman smiled and said his dad always told him he'd be a good engineer.
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