Tippecanoe School Corporation
Manufacturing Expo brings industry to life for students
Sue Scott

Students from Klondike Middle School and Dayton Elementary School had an opportunity to engage with members of the Lafayette business community during the Manufacturing Expo at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. The event, sponsored by Greater Lafayette Commerce, had students work through four different stages: design it, produce it, move it and support it.

Klondike Middle School Science teacher Brent Strickhouser says eighth grade students participated in several hands-on activities that let them experience some of the needs of our local manufacturing facilities. “They worked on assembly lines, drove a mini-forklift and performed other tasks to understand multi-stage organizational strategies.”

Eighth grade student Gunnar Berger says he enjoyed seeing all the different companies and the processes they use: “I really liked racing the mini-forklifts,” says Gunnar. “This event is important because it teaches students about what companies do and how they do it.”

Classmate Isabella Shoop says her favorite station was with Primient: “It was fun to see how some of the different machines they use in their factories and I thought it was interesting how they make different corn products.”

Students at manufacturing week activities
Students race mini forklifts

Third grade students from Dayton Elementary School participated in four rotations to learn the steps of designing, producing, supporting and moving in the manufacturing process. 

Activities included forming an assembly line to create a LEGO car. “Through this experience, the students were able to learn even small parts, one piece of a puzzle or one LEGO, are important to the big picture,” says Dayton teacher Krystal VanLaere. “We also learned the importance of reading all the directions and following them in order to successfully build construction equipment.” 

VanLaere says the event ties in with lessons about communities and the qualities of a good citizen: “It doesn’t matter how small your role may seem, everyone and every job is important. We are better together.”

Student works on the lego car assembly line
Students getting instructions