This week we have Technology Education instructor Jared Haas sharing about a project he completed with his welding students at Line Mountain High School that turned into a something closer to a small business. Jared shares his story below:
Two years ago, due to popular demand, I was instructed to pilot a third level metallic processing course. I was fortunate enough to be able to pick the students I wanted in the class. Once the school year began, I told the students I thought it would be cool to manufacture something to sell as a fundraiser so we could purchase another MIG welder for our class. (I only had one MIG welder and had upwards of 16 students in each class.)
We decided on a wagon wheel bench. Once this was decided, it was time to determine what materials we were going to use and how much they were going to cost. The students called different vendors and recorded their prices. After this process had been completed we compiled their findings and calculated our final costs. Our next step was to create a prototype of the bench. We manufactured each part of the bench, even rolling the wheels. After several weeks of making jigs and fixtures, we finally had our first prototype. Since the district is in a very rural area where it is not uncommon to see a horse and buggy driving along the road, these benches were an instant hit.
It was our goal to raise $1200 to purchase a new welder. By the time February 2015 rolled around we had to stop accepting orders. The last orders were filled during the last week of school. The grand total was 69 benches produced, which tallied over $3700 in profits. Not only were we able to purchase two brand new Miller welders, but I was also able to surprise each student with a Miller Arc Armor starter kit. In the 2015-2016 school year, we again made benches and purchased Miller welding helmets for each student in the class with the profits.
When the current school year rolled around, it was a unanimous decision by the students to continue making the benches. My concern was that we may have exhausted our resources for finding people to purchase them (now having sold over 100). However, the orders kept coming rolling in.
When we began manufacturing the benches I told the students that we would divide the profits by the number of students in the class and would get them something for that value. Little did I know that it would turn into each student having $350 to spend. Some students chose to get tools for trade school, others chose to get a cordless tool kit, and a few decided to get a small hobby MIG welder.
This has been a great experience for my students as well as myself. I have always wanted to reward my students for their hard work and dedication. This project has allowed me to do that and much more.
Thank you to Jared for sharing about his project! We wish you and your students success in your future welding projects!