A team of 26 Solon High computer programming students got some real-world experience this fall when they teamed up with engineers at Solon's Kennametal.
The Kennametal Foundation Young Engineers Program provides a hands-on experience in engineering careers and medern manufacturing. The students met with Kennametal's engineers and go a chance to work on design projects.
The students will unveil their "workplace innovation" -- a desktop iPhone stand -- at a graduation ceremony Dec. 13.
"The program gave our SHS students a great deal of information about what the role of an engineer actually entails in a manufacturing environment," said Daniel McKeen, the AP Computer Science teacher at Solon High . "The students saw the many different jobs that fall under the mantle of 'engineer' as well as how those different jobs interact on a daily basis."
The students worked closely with Kennameta's engineers to manufacture the rotating iPhone desk stand, which allows the phone user to turn the phone horizontally or vertically while in the stand.
Kennametal, located on Cochran Road in Solon, operates a factory that serves customers in the industrial and aerospace fields.
The company launched the Young Engineers Program in September 2011 in Pennsylvania and this year expanded the program to Solon.
"We need to shatter the myths about manufacturing in this country, which today is high-tech, highly rewarding and absolutely vital to our nation’s economy," said Carlos Cardoso, Kennametal's chairman, president and CEO, in a news release. "By engaging young people, their parents and teachers to experience today’s manufacturing technology first-hand, we are enhancing education and changing perceptions to attract greater interest in the excellent career opportunities we offer."
Solon High Principal Erin Short said the school is looking to launch a number of partnerships with area businesses to give students an extra dimension of education.
"In addition to the hands-on, real-world experiences for our students related to workforce readiness, we are confident these relationships will foster long-term bonds between our students and the community that will pay dividends into the future," she said.