Students work toward one goal in DART Collaboration Space

MASON, MI. (WILX) - In this special edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is taking a look at a collaboration at the Wilson Talent Center and how its impacting students.

Students work together in the Wilson Talent Center's DART Collaboration Space.

The DART Advanced Manufacturing Center is a collaboration between two of the Wilson Talent Center programs. Precision Machining and Engineering Technology students come together to complete one goal.

"That makes a better employee out in industry, when you realize, 'I don't know it all, I'm not the best at everything, I need people to help me do my job,'" explained Paul Guetschow, the head teacher in the Engineering Technologies Program.

His students get an introduction to what engineers are actually doing in the field.

"That's what I really want to help these students understand is-does any of this interest them? If it does, then what part, what portions of it?" said Guetschow.

"This program has changed my entire perspective on how I view the world," said Hunter, a student in the Engineering Technologies program. "I view it now from an engineering stand point. Instead of just looking at an object and thinking of its purpose, I think of how it's actually built."

And while Hunter and his classmates are working, students in the Welding and Precision Machining class are getting some hands on experience of their own.

"We work on problem solving skills by working on manual machines, we teach them how to read industrial drawings," explained Enrique Castaneda, the instructor for the Precision Machining class. "Although industry doesn't use manual machines as much, these machines provide the problem solving skills and the set up skills and the processing skills."

So how do these two programs tie into each other? In the DART Advanced Manufacturing Center.

Situated between the Engineering and Precision Machining classrooms, students from both programs work on projects together.

"In industry, these programs often work together," explained Castaneda. "So now our students are getting that experience of working with other departments and taking information and asking for information from other programs."

The space was made possible by a grant designed to emphasize collaboration.

"It's fun to watch the students earn this, respect for their classmates," said Guetschow.

So just what does it mean to these students?

"It's like a job. And if I like my job, I never work a day in my life," said Zach Hofstra, a Welding and Machining student. "That's what it feels like to come here. Come here and do something I love."

Zach is a full time student using the DART program. He finished his school courses early to make that happen.

WILX News 10 will look more into his story and his classmates in next week's edition of Schools Rule.

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