City students partner with tech firm



City school students are applying the knowledge they learn in class in a high-tech after-school jobs program.

Through a partnership between the school district and Applied Systems and Technology Transfer, precision-machining students from Choffin Career and Technical Center and engineering students from Chaney High School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program are making the parts for AST2’s INVENT3D Printers, smaller 3-D printers.

Jack Scott, AST2 president, said the printers, which cost about $900, are available only to schools. The printers are designed to be assembled, used and then disassembled by students. Scott said the Choffin and Chaney students who work on the printer parts after school earn $12.50 per hour and will make the parts for about 100 printers.

“We have developed the INVENT3D Printer to specifically address the lessons learned from more than three years of experience using 3-D printers in the classroom as an educational tool,” Scott said.

The company developed the INVENT3D Printer in its role with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, which received funding from America Makes for additive manufacturing in air and space vehicle applications.

The printers will be sent to schools and universities, many of which have summer science camps, across the country. They’re designed to work with AST2’s INVENTORcloud, a STEM education program for kindergarten through 12th grade already used in many schools throughout the Mahoning Valley.

Junior Buker Abu-Hasim, 15, and his sister, Rana, 16, a senior, are the Chaney students who create the printer parts using computer numerical controls and laser-cutting equipment. Elijah Bowers, a senior from Ursuline who attends Choffin, and senior JaQuan Miller, both 18, with supervision from Choffin instructor Bob Morrell, do the precision machining work.

Rana and Buker said they learned of the opportunity through Chaney’s STEM coordinator Pam Lubich and decided to take advantage of it.

Rana also interned with ATS2, learned a lot and wanted to continue the experience. She encouraged her brother to pursue it as well.

Morrell said there are more jobs in precision machining than people qualified to fill them. This program will give Elijah and JaQuan experience.

Elijah said it’s getting him ready for the job market.

He enjoys the hands-on aspects of the work.

“It’s not watching what’s going on,” Elijah said.

He also likes the mathematical requirements of precision machining. If you calculate something incorrectly, the measurements for the part you’re creating will be wrong, and you’ll have to start again, he explained.

JaQuan transferred to Youngstown from another school district as a junior and decided to study precision machining because he was told it’s a field where jobs are plentiful.

Like Elijah, he enjoys executing the projects rather than having someone else explain how to do it, and he likes the idea that something he helped make will be shipped to and used by students all over the country.

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