Vermont Tech K-12

Technology Projects

Orange Center School
Technology Projects Spring 2004


Project Sponsors

Warning to Parents and Students


Design and build magnetic levitation vehicles

By Steve Belitsos from the Automotive Technology Department with material from Betsy Dorries. Steve will be assisted by his son Peter Belitsos, a student in the Architectural and Building Engineering Technology Program

·        Automotive Technology Academic Program Information

·        Architectural and Building Engineering Technology Academic Program Information

Lean Manufacturing

Design small structures (like children’s furniture), using Lego parts, Excel and Autodesk Inventor

Manufacture from the design, using 2x4 lumber, PVC pipe, drill, chop saw, jigs and fixtures

By Paul Johnson and Louise Maynard with material developed with Mary Waldo, all from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department

·        Academic Program Information

·        Department Page (with examples of student work)

Lean Manufacturing – manufacturing without waste

·        Lean Manufacturing Principles

·        History leading to Lean Manufacturing

·        Just In Time (JIT) - the Toyota Production System

Inventories are held down by developing high quality processes and then waiting for orders

·        Design for Manufacturability (DFM)

Designing products so that they can be made easily

·        Flexible Manufacturing System

A system that can switch quickly from making one product to making something different

Project Terminology

·        A brace is placed diagonally to prevent networks of beams from collapsing.

·        A brace has 1" chamfers that blunt 4 corners that might have protruded.

·        Interior parts have 1 3/8 inch diameter 'thru' holes.

·        Exterior parts have 1/2 inch thru holes with 1 3/8 inch diameter by 1/2 inch deep counter bores on both sides.

·        A Spacer has one hole and is 3 1/2 inches long

Mary’s Examples (internet explorer recommended)

·        Chair

Example Cost Spreadsheet

·        Table

·        Strawberry Planter

·        Long Bench

·        Hex Planter

·        Visiting Chair

Skills Acquired (Computer, Teamwork, Hands-on, and Professional):

·        Spreadsheets for cost and time estimation

·        Design Software for parts and assembly modeling and Working drawings

·        Delegating responsibilities

·        Following up and following thru

·        Defining goals and expectations

·        Making holes with Forstner bit

·        Using jigs and fixtures

·        Working with 2 x 4 lumber, 1" ID PVC pipe, and nylon cord

·        Doing a project for the use and pleasure of others

·        Presenting your work

Project Sponsors

The projects enjoy the generous support of the public schools. School staff members accompany the students and assist with the projects. The schools pay for project preparation, instruction and coordination (mostly from Vermont Tech faculty and staff), and materials like glue and ice cream.

The projects also enjoy the generous support of Vermont Technical College. The college contributes facilities (like computer labs and machine shops), technician time, and oversight and assistance (payroll and invoicing) from the Academic Dean’s office.

Further, this year we thank Bernie Allen of Allen Lumber for donating some 2x4’s and John ‘Dive King’ Gleason of E. F. Wall & Associates for saving some good scrap from the dumpsters.


Warning to Parents and Students

In these projects many of the technologies are inherently dangerous. Of course, if a student is not comfortable with a dangerous technology, someone else will use it for them.

Students and parents should also understand that a place, where technologies like power tools are used, is an inherently dangerous environment. We have been fortunate in recent years to have avoided a terrible accident.

If a student shows a dangerous lack of skill or judgment, an instructor or staff member may remove them from the project. Many risks, however, can not be countered by close supervision. All students and parents should be warned that errors in concentration, skill or judgment can quickly lead to injury.

Also, even a person doing the right thing might get hurt by a freak accident or someone else’s mistake.

We recommend an attitude of calm mindful respect for the inherent dangers of technology.

Paul H. Johnson

Vermont Technical College


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