This fall, 2016 semester Smithers Oasis Engineered Products worked with the educators and students at Kent Roosevelt High School (KRHS) in Kent, Ohio. Kent is one of six local schools that participate in the career technical education program, also known as “Six District Educational Compact”. Each high school has a specialty; Kent is preparing students to enter a career in the Forestry and Landscape Management industry. The mission for the students was simple – show these budding Forestry and Landscape Management practitioners what products are being manufactured right around the corner from them.
The scope of the project was, that every week on Thursday, starting in October, we would come in and talk about a subject. One week the presentation topic was centered around the floral industry, another week the topic was about the agriculture industry. My favorite week, the topic of discussion revolved around all the new foams and markets we are entering to grow the business. The project for Smithers Oasis Engineered Products ends in December just before classes at KRHS are dismissed for the holidays.
During the business development presentation, we had a great time with hands-on interaction of different fluids repelling and absorbing on the surface of several foam types. The students could see, and more importantly feel, the differences between the foams and why the foam is used in certain applications.
Personally, I feel privileged to give some time back to the community. I was part of the of this Six District Educations Compact program back in my high school days. I attended Stow Munroe Falls High School (SMFHS) for the Science and Engineering program. I graduated from SMFHS and went on to the University of Akron for Chemical Engineering. I graduated from the University of Akron with a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering.
A few other Smithers Oasis Engineered Products presenters are also graduates of Kent Roosevelt High School. One presenter is the Operations Manager for our Stow Street Facility. Another presenter is recent grad and a Kent State University student majoring in Finance. The last presenter is the Smithers Financial Services Manager for the North American Operations.
I know that someday that these Forestry and Landscape Management students will become experts in their chosen field and come back “home” to educate the next round of trained practitioners.