We kicked off our third year of AMP with the AMP Kickoff Night. The Kick Off Night was a huge success for our students, parents, business partners, community leaders, and school board members. The Kick Off Night is designed to be an informative program for our students and their parents, but it became so much more than that. It became a celebration of past accomplishments, and an opportunity to network with the local manufacturers who invest so much toward the success of AMP.
The following manufacturers were in attendance promoting their company: Ridgley’s Combined Technology Solutions, Chestertown’s Dixon Valve, Stevensville’s Paul Reed Smith Guitars, and Federalsburg’s Trenton Pipe and Nipple. In addition Nyckolas Shirkey, a current AMP student, who began his own business turning custom pens, barbecue utensils, shaving handles, and other unique items and had these on display.
Our newest cohort of AMP Students have hit the ground running. They are quickly learning to safely operate the various mobile shop power tools, as well as an introduction to Computer Aided Drafting, and Manufacturing.
The first manufacturing project for these students is a bird nesting box. The Manufacturing Process begins with research. They are not just building a birdhouse to build a birdhouse. These students need to know how and why; what works, what doesn’t work, who is their customer and what are their needs. Each individual student will use this information to inspire their nesting box design. Each student will then have to “pitch” their idea to their peers and business partners. The design that receives the most votes will become the nesting box the class manufactures.
Students will then deconstruct the chosen design and create blueprints using Computer Aided Manufacturing software. Part Cut Lists will be created and raw material will be ordered. The CAD designs are converted into gCode Commands to operate the shop’s CNC machine. This robot cuts out each individual part of the nesting box. The parts are sanded and finished. The parts are assembled into a complete nesting box.
Finally, students must perform a cost analysis, set a price, market and sell their manufactured goods. Students will present their final product to business partners, community leaders, school officials and peers. Proceeds from the sale of the nesting boxes go right into the student’s next project: a clock.