Project 3: Contemporary Manufacturing Methods
Elwood Regional High School offers a locally developed course in Flexible Manufacturing. This is the only course of its kind offered in the province and is very unique to the Nation. The course involves the study of the Design Process, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, Robotics, Robotic Vision Systems, and Pneumatic Control Systems. Students learn to work with these systems via hands-on modules and complete the course by designing both a simple project and a Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Cell to manufacture the product. This project is designed to supplement the Flexible Manufacturing 3220 course. It will provide students with Internet access so that they are able to conduct searches related to each topic discussed above. The information and knowledge base is global in this context, providing students with state-of-the-art research and developments in modern manufacturing methods, processes and tools.
The main curriculum areas addressed by the project include Technology Education, Science, Mathematics and the Language Arts. This is a Technology education course that involves the practical application of coordinate mathematics and scientific principles. The maintenance of a Portfolio involves the use of many information technologies and use of language skills for record keeping.
The project fits in with the overall curriculum plans at Elwood Regional High School. At Elwood there is a commitment to provide students an opportunity to experience all aspects of the Information Technologies and Design Technologies over their total high school curriculum. This project will have students using a variety of technologies including, a video camera and video editing equipment, a scanner and graphic manipulation software, the Internet (search engines, e-mail, news groups) word processing and presentation software, and HTML Editing software to create documents to be shared on their web site.
In order to become familiar with flexible manufacturing systems, its application, as well as its social, economic and environmental impact, the course is designed to enable the learner:
The learning outcomes associated with the objectives of this course are mainly cognitive in nature. Skill related activities are necessary in order to reinforce the problem solving strategies that are employed.
Underlying the method of presentation of this course is an important broader goal. Students will work as teams. As team members, they will learn basic operations, how to set up the manufacturing system, and to plan and produce projects. This exercise will develop desirable social skills such as cooperation, leadership, and tact. Teamwork will help students develop an understanding, and appreciation for the importance of reliability by themselves and co-workers in the workplace.
Incorporated in the overall course is another broader goal. Because of the nature of the content associated with design technology, pneumatics, robotics and machine programming the student will develop an understanding of the interrelatedness of these technology with mathematics, and physics.
As students participate in this project their experiences will contribute to achieving the six general curriculum outcomes for technology education as outlined by the Department of Education, that is:
Nature of Technology
Technological Problem Solving
In achieving the curriculum outcomes outlined above students will advance towards achieving the Technological Competence as outlined by the Atlantic Canada Graduation Outcomes. That is students will be able to;
The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will provide a mechanism (The Internet) for students to research state-of-the-art knowledge based entities that will enhance their understand and design capabilities for developing modern manufacturing systems. In addition it will provide a vehicle through which students may share their knew experiences with others globally.
This project will also use a variety of other resources to assist students in meeting the course objectives. This will include
A variety of Videos, Machines (CNC Mill, Robot, Basic Pneumatics Kit, Robo-Vision System) and CAD software is available for student hands-on learning. Furthermore, students will have access to Video editing equipment, video camera, a scanner and HTML Editor software to record and report their experiences.
The specialized equipment for this course was secured with funding from the Human Resources Development Corporation in 1994 and 1995.
The learning outcomes for this project as listed in #3 above will be evaluated in a variety of ways. This course is designed to provide hands-on opportunities for students to engage in real life problem-solving. Many of the objectives (technological skills) will best be evaluated through observation and continuous practical assessment of the tasks performed. A checklist of task will be used for this purpose. Evaluation of other objectives will require the use of pen and paper analysis. Some of the areas that will be evaluated in this manner include employability skills, and knowledge of content and process. Students will be guided to perform self evaluations, as well as peer and group evaluations (teamwork). An individuals ability to communicate effectively, work as a team member, display an understanding of the content and processes as outlined in the objectives, and conduct research activities will be monitored for evaluation purposes. The student portfolio and the final product from the FMS will also contribute to overall evaluation of the team effort.