Free summer workshops will help students, teachers ‘discover’ manufacturing processes

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On March 25, 2005

Two free, hands-on summer workshops designed to help students and educators alike make sense of the manufacturing process have been set at the University of Missouri-Rolla. The workshops, titled "Discover Manufacturing," are sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Advance Technological Education Program, UMR’s Manufacturing Engineering program, and the Advanced Manufacturing Center at St. Louis Community College.

High school students, along with those starting college during the 2005-06 school year, can spend the week of June 20-24 at UMR learning how cell phones, microwaves and other products are researched, designed and manufactured. Lunch will be provided at the week-long workshops, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

"Hands-on experience will include computer-assisted design, machining, plastic molding, automation, and quality control," says Dr. Frank Liou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of manufacturing engineering at UMR.

Students will be selected based on an essay and will receive a $250 gift certificate for their week-long participation. "No prior knowledge or experience in manufacturing is expected," Liou says.

Middle school and high school teachers from any subject area are invited to spend June 27-July 1 at UMR, where they will explore a variety of manufacturing methods, visit a local manufacturing facility and receive a $300 stipend. Due to space constraints, participation is limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

"By attending this workshop, educators will gain a greater understanding of how many everyday products are designed and manufactured as well as how to communicate that to their students," Liou says. Students will be exposed to subjects such as computer aided design, rapid prototyping, and lean manufacturing.

Lunch will also be provided at the week-long workshops, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Workshop instructors will include Ashok Agrawal, acting dean of math, science, engineering and technology division at St. Louis Community College in Florissant Valley; Dr. Ming Leu, Keith and Pat Bailey Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UMR; and Dr. Venkata Allada, associate professor of engineering management at UMR.

Applications for both workshops are due Monday, May 9, and are available online at For more information on the workshops, call Gail Richards at (573) 341-4615 or email

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On March 25, 2005. Posted in News