Students from Plymouth-Canton Schools visit Eastern Michigan University College of Engineering and Technology to celebrate national Manufacturing Day

Students tour Sill Hall and see wide variety of disciplines as they gain understanding of the many options available in the engineering and technology fields

Andrew Mansfield describes the Baja Car to Plymouth-Canton Community High School students on Manufacturing Day.
EMU engineering professor Andrew Mansfield describes the Baja Car to Plymouth-Canton Community High School students on Manufacturing Day. (Photo by Geoff Larcom)

YPSILANTI – More than 150 high school students got a vivid look at possible engineering and technology related careers Friday (Oct. 4) during a visit to Sill Hall on the Eastern Michigan University campus.

The students, from Plymouth-Canton Community High Schools, visited as part of the national celebration of Manufacturing Day.

The first Friday in October is the nationally recognized Manufacturing Day. The associated events seek to address common misconceptions about manufacturing by organizations in an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is and is not.

A visit that opens eyes to opportunities

The College of Engineering and Technology at EMU has served as an education hub for the students, who came too Eastern by bus for lunch and a tour of Sill Hall.

EMU faculty offered perspective in in areas such as virtual reality, engineering and engineering technology as the students viewed new labs and classrooms in the College of Engineering and Technology. Sill Hall is undergoing a $40 million renovation to house the expansion of engineering programs in the college.

“This visit opens the students’ eyes to so many opportunities,” said Mike Frantsen, an industrial arts teacher in the Plymouth-Canton System, which includes Plymouth Canton, Plymouth Salem and Plymouth High Schools. “It’s great for them to see what exists after high school.”

Hands-on work with Baja Car

Frantsen can describe that path himself, having earned a bachelor’s and master’s in the CET. His group first stopped at an auto lab overseen by Andrew Mansfield, a professor of engineering at Eastern. The visitors were clearly interested in a Baja Car, used to navigate the challenging races on that California peninsula, and which has been displayed at Eastern’s exhibit at the annual Detroit International Auto Show.

“This is the kind of project that our students work on,” Mansfield said, noting the various aspects learned in constructing the Baja Car, including fluid and solid mechanics along with engineering, design and manufacturing considerations.

Other stops included the machine shop lab, where engineering technology professor Philip Rufe noted the variety of hands-on activities students learn and the projects they create in various CET classes and labs, and a visit to the virtual reality lab, where engineering professor Emad Tanbour explained how virtual reality is used in many engineering applications.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

October 09, 2019

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom