Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

The Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (MIC) is our longest running STEM program. This program allows a group of students to go into a local manufacturing company as “outside consultants” in person or virtually and tackle a real-world problem provided by the company. Once the students have reached a solution to the company’s real-world problem, they present their findings. This gives students and teachers a great, project-based learning experience while providing relevant real-world experience.

Success Stories

Company: Ace Wire Spring and Form

School: Hampton High School Project

Project Summary: Students were asked to research whether or not the company should enter into the production and sale of titanium springs.

Project Outcomes: The students researched the uses of titanium springs in the market place, the growth potential of those markets, other manufacturers that made such springs, the geo-graphic location of those competitors, and the manufacturing capabilities at Ace Wire Spring. The team recommended that the company should enter that market and the company now does so.

Company: All-Clad Metalcrafters

School: South Fayette High School

Project Summary: Over the years, students have worked on a wide variety of manufac-turing projects ranging from new product development, process improvements, fire mitigation, quality improvement, product re-furbishment, and marketing.

Project Outcomes: The program started with a team of 10 students over 10 years ago and has grown to over 30 students a year involved in projects in a stand alone project-based elective class. South Fayette now partners with other school districts on projects. The company has implemented numerous of the ideas from the student teams.

Company: EPD Electronics

School: Burrell High School

Project Summary: Students were asked to re-purpose a 3D printer and small robot that were not being utilized by the company.

Project Outcomes: The students researched the use of the equipment, how to get it to be functional, and the potential uses of the tech-nology in the company’s manufacturing environ-ment. Burrell and EPD have done multiple past projects together and have built a strong work-ing relationship.

Company: Rivers of Steel

School: City Charter High School Project

Summary: Students were asked to research potential ideas for new products that could be sold in the gift shops of the Bost Building museum or Carrie Furnace historical site.

Project Outcomes: The team of students surveyed their peers about the types of things they would purchase at a museum gift shop, designed products using CAD software, and analyzed cost to produce and price to sell the products.

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