Tag Archive: How to Boost STEM Education

  1. Manufacturing Day at American Crane

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    Berks County Celebrates Manufacturing on October 3rd

    We couldn’t be more excited to join the Greater Reading Economic Partnership on October 3, 2015, to celebrate MFG Day. The nationwide event is designed to bring awareness to manufacturing training and careers. We’re thrilled to join the Berks Manufacturing Community for a day of great events.
    MFG Day Logo

    Students and guests will begin their morning at Reading Area Community College and the Schmidt Training and Technology Center. At Schmidt, guests will have the opportunity to meet representatives from different companies to talk about their unique facilities and the careers they offer before — or instead of — taking tours.

    Tours are a pre-registered event. Remember that if you’d like to tour American Crane or any other Berks manufacturers, registration for the Berks Manufacturing Day is required.

    We will be open for facility tours between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Guests will be able to see our in-house processes and six manufacturing bays firsthand. They will experience machining, material preparation, electrical assembly, welding, and more, in addition to a full tour at Brentwood’s facility.

    Please wear closed shoes during the tour. Individuals 17 years old and under must have adult supervision. Additionally, all registrants are invited to bring up to 4 guests to the tour.

    Last year, we were fortunate to host 35 Exeter High School students for MFG Day as part of a new STEM initiative. In addition to a tour and information session about cranes, the students were able to ask questions about different types of careers — electricians, machinists, mechanics, fitters, and designers, to start. Additionally, we covered the various types of engineers on our team: mechanical, electrical, structural and welding.

    Participants involved in the Berks County Manufacturing Day event include:

    • American Crane and Equipment Corporation
    • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
    • Brentwood Industries
    • Cambridge-Lee Industries
    • Carpenter
    • East Penn Manufacturing
    • Reading Plastic Fabricators
    • Remcon Plastics
    • And many more!

    We strongly believe that programs like MFG Day and STEM Education are essential to the future of manufacturing. Our industry depends upon inspiring and educating young people, and we want to give them every opportunity to learn.

    Though American Crane has participated in the national event before, we are proud to join with local educators, economic partners, and manufacturers for the first-ever dedicated Berks Manufacturing Day. Having over 20 facilities involved in the program is inspiring for both students and the community overall, and offers plenty of unique opportunities for tours and career exploration.

     We are committed to mentoring aspiring engineers because we believe that it is part of our job and our future as a company and a community. Find out more about our facility tours and register for the 2015 Berks Manufacturing Day by clicking here. We look forward to meeting you on October 3rd.Manufacturing Day Post Card_eletronic

  2. Trends in the Aerospace Industry

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    An industry doesn’t move forward without innovation. It doesn’t progress without people coming forward and challenging the status quo as a means of advancement and progression. That’s currently occurring at an unprecedented pace in the aerospace industry, as innovation and ingenuity is leading to better prototyping and manufacturing, better performance in aircraft and, ultimately, a better end product in the sky.

    With that being said, here’s a look at some of the biggest trends that are moving the aerospace industry forward:

    • 3D printingNASA Orion Spacecraft

    Also known as “additive manufacturing,” 3D printing is a manufacturing process that builds parts from the ground up, layer-by-layer. Once best utilized solely for the rapid prototyping of parts to test for form, fit and function prior to manufacturing runs, 3D printing has advanced to the point where it can now satisfy a variety of tasks. Most in the aerospace industry are using 3D printing to quickly fabricate complex prototype parts, but Boeing, for instance, is actually using the technology to create replacement parts for aircraft.

    • Eco-friendly flying

    Reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy are being taken seriously on the ground in the auto industry – and the aerospace industry is paying more attention to this, too. Lighter aircraft are being developed, alternative fuels are being experimented with and various new engine technology is being integrated to reduce emissions in the sky, just to name a few.

    • MRO services

    Maintenance, repair and operations, or MRO, is increasingly being outsourced to third-party specialists. Why? It’s because the airlines, who are mostly responsible for MRO, are putting more emphasis into their core business of passenger transport and choosing to leave these important, yet non-core tasks, to specialists who are more qualified.

    • STEM programs

    The aerospace industry is only as good as the people that make it up. And more and more students are becoming interested in this booming field – and more and more educational entities and curriculums are following suit to meet this demand. A STEM program was recently started in the greater Los Angeles area, with a goal of helping middle schoolers and high schoolers get acquainted with real-world math and science applications, similar to those they would encounter in aerospace. Additionally, some 65 aerospace programs exist in higher education settings nationwide – 25 of which are standalone programs. Aerospace is currently the third most popular field for engineering students.

    • Individual jet packs

    Seemingly straight out of the 1991 movie The Rocketeer, individual jet packs are becoming increasingly popular in aerospace. Take the Martin Jetpack or the “Body Jet,” for instance – personal flying might still be a ways off, but it appears that it could make the change from pipe dream to reality sooner rather than later.

    The aerospace industry itself is evolving and growing – and American Crane is no exception to this trend. The developer of the Custom Underhung Crane System for Boeing is another example of innovation and advancement in the industry. For more information on trends and innovation in the aerospace industry, as well as the role that American Crane is playing in it, contact us today.

  3. Are You Celebrating Engineers Week This Year?

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    From February 22 -28, 2015, people around the country will be taking part in Engineers Week. The event aims to increase awareness of the many ways engineers contribute to our lives, and teach people of all ages about the importance of engineering, and the need to get more talented young people involved in the profession.

    At American Crane, one of our main priorities is making sure that the next generation of workers is aware of the opportunities available to aspiring engineers. We are constantly looking for ways to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and Engineers Week is another outlet for us to do that.

    Here are some ideas to celebrate, courtesy of DiscoverE:

    Volunteer – Engineers can volunteer their time at local schools to teach students about what they do and why it’s important. Having a real-life role model will usually encourage kids to follow in their footsteps, and gives them a chance to ask questions about the profession.

    Open Your Doors – If your company has an engineering department, see if you can designate some time for an open house to show people what goes on behind the scenes. Let them see the equipment and how it is used, and if possible (and safe to do so), let them operate or simply touch the materials and machines involved.

    Host a Lunch or Dinner – Getting the public excited about engineering is important, but so is celebrating the engineers themselves. Treat your team to a company lunch or dinner to show them that you value their work and appreciate all that they do.

    Nominate – Identify a student who you think is making an impact in the industry and nominate them for the New Faces of Engineering – College Edition. Winners will receive scholarships as well as recognition. Applicants must already be members of one of the sponsoring engineering organizations listed on the website.

    Girl Day – In addition to general Engineers Week activities, make sure to set aside some time on February 26th for Girl Day, which is meant to specifically reach out to young girls about the engineering field. In addition to celebrating with the ideas listed above, try reaching out to your local Girl Scouts and working with them on fun projects.

    While Engineers Week is a great opportunity to get involved in boosting STEM education, the main goal is to start a conversation that will continue all year round. At American Crane, our Executive Vice President Karen Norheim is constantly finding new ways to promote industrial careers. She was recently profiled in The Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce’s Member Spotlight, and regularly contributes to industry blogs. And in her spare time, she even teaches her nieces and nephew about fun engineering concepts at home – like how to make a marshmallow launcher!