LCSC engineering students build project to help community
Students in the Lewis-Clark State College Pre-Engineering/Engineering Tech programs are joining forces with the charity organization Interlink Volunteers in Action to design and build a wheelchair ramp for a Clarkston resident. The ramp design is a collaborative effort between LCSC students and will be built by the students and other volunteers on Friday, May 4, at 618 13th St. in Clarkston.
The project involves programs from both LCSC’s academic and technical programs and gives students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in class while at the same time providing a service to the community.
LCSC Natural Sciences assistant professor Jenni Light and Technical and Industrial professor Jack Hutson decided to work together on this project because Engineers and Engineering Technologists often work together in industry and government.
“Not only does a project like this provide students the opportunity to learn from each other, it also builds civic responsibility, engagement, and leadership skills” Light said.
Students from Engineering 220, Analysis and Design of Systems, are performing structural and design analysis on the wheelchair ramp while the Engineering Tech students, in addition to design collaboration, are developing the plan drawings.
Each spring, Hutson’s classes have taken part in interesting projects, including building catapults, self re-setting targets, and fly reels, as well as doing site surveys. The catapults were designed and built by the students and then used in class competitions to test them.
This year Hutson offered a new option to his students: an opportunity to collaborate with engineering students to design and build a project that also served the community. At the same time, the Pre-Engineering program has a new emphasis on service learning with Light, a first-year assistant professor.
Interlink Volunteers in Action, under the leadership of Ray Rosch, has been instrumental in building handicap and wheelchair access to homes in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley for residents who are unable or cannot afford to build the access. The organization will provide the materials to build the ramp.
The students will begin work at 8 a.m. on May 4 and continue through the day until the project is finished. The ramp will be built on the backside of the house.
The public is invited to stop by to look at the students work, and even help with the building.
For more information on the project, contact either Light at 792-2179, or Hutson at 792-2425.