Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Mobile Manufacturing Learning Center
Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT), in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Education, established the Mobile Manufacturing Learning Center. This unique learning center consists of a large, mobile trailer equipped with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment that visits local high schools across Tennessee. Since 1993, the Mobile Manufacturing Learning Center has provided a hands-on learning center and manufacturing demonstration site to more than 9,000 students.
The Mobile Manufacturing Learning Center features state-of-the-art equipment including computers, small robotics, a numerically-controlled milling machine, and a soon-to-be-used video data link. Students can design a part on a computer, send the design to the milling machine, and produce a finished product. The Center exposes vocational students to career options in industry by helping them link their classroom studies (math, physics, drafting, etc.) with potential work tasks. As a result, many students have acquired jobs which were previously unobtainable or unsought.
Student mentors provide much of the training with minimal teacher supervision. The training features team building and team participation, as well as individual experience. As a result, students who have used the resources available at the Mobile Manufacturing Learning Center are now more motivated in their classroom studies. This learning opportunity benefits students and instructors by providing a practical application for standard classroom subjects, hands-on manufacturing experience, and career interest in the manufacturing field.
The mobile learning center concept is available to any state that wishes to combine the theory of classroom studies with the tangible setting of a manufacturing workplace. The total cost, including the trailer and equipment, is less than $100,000.
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