Students know how to design and produce drink coasters, but it’s a safe bet that all their mothers are hoping the teenagers learn how to use them, as well.
“This is the first year we have made inlaid coasters,” said Jake Hofflinger, technology teacher.
Under the guidance of Matt Mazouch, drafting teacher, and Hofflinger, each year the students design and produce a project from start to finish. In the research and design phase, students create their coaster designs. Proposals were narrowed down by keeping the target consumer in mind as well as profitability of each design, Hofflinger explained. They also prepared a flow process chart to organize the order of events in the manufacturing process. Students proposed a batch number (how many they intended to make) and prepared a cost analysis for materials and the total price to manufacture the design. The class listened to all of the proposals and voted on the winning designs.
This year they opted to manufacture four different student designs from walnut and maple. Four inlaid coasters will make a set and will be presented in a wooden holding tray.
“We have enough material for 72 sets, but we know we are going to have a good number of mistakes,” Hofflinger said. “We allowed for 15 percent of our products to be tossed as ‘learning opportunities’ and we plan to have about 60 sets when we’re done.”
The purpose of the project is to give students as close to a “real-world” experience in manufacturing as possible. Each student involved will receive a set and the remainder will be sold to recuperate cost of materials.
“The next step is to prepare our paperwork, 3-D images and photo log of the work we have put in,” said, “We are looking forward to taking our project to the Fort Hays State University technology fair on May 1,” said Hofflinger.