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Students Take on a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge
Students Take on a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge
WCS Communications Dept.
Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Wood County Technical Center / Caperton Center for Applied Technologies

Students Take on a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 

Parkersburg, WV, June 9, 2021 –   Explore the New Manufacturing has announced the completion of a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge, which teamed six students from the Wood County Technical Center /Caperton Center for Applied Technologies and DuPont.  The challenge required the students to develop an app that would increase employee efficiency by providing access to information related to the facility, products and their job roles. Mr. Jared Voldness, Pre-Engineering & Computer Science Instructor, served as the advisor to the student team for this effort.

“I was impressed with the app that the student team created and I liked that it was connected to a Microsoft SharePoint site”, commented Mary’beth Ramey, Control Systems Engineer at DuPont about students’ presentation. 

In preparation for the challenge, the students were given an in-depth virtual tour of DuPont’s plant at the Washington Works site.  The tour included employee commentary about their jobs and why they chose to work in manufacturing.  The DuPont team identified six key personnel roles closest to the process including: process operator, lab operator, maintenance technician, E&I technician, process engineer and control systems engineer.

 The challenge concluded with a team presentation, where the students explained how they designed the app to meet DuPont’s requirements. The students also discussed challenges they encountered when they attempted to incorporate a map feature in the app.

Wood County Superintendent, William Hosaflook, attended the presentation. “I am thoroughly impressed with the solution that the students have created during this Manufacturing Innovation Challenge. I would like to thank Dupont for providing this opportunity for the students,” commented Hosaflook.

Explore's Manufacturing Innovation Challenge is designed to allow high school student teams to solve real-world manufacturing problems faced by West Virginia manufacturers. Each challenge is unique and can come from a variety of aspects of the company's operations.  Students learn how problem-solving skills are a critical element to job performance.  The challenge concludes with a formal team presentation, after which students and manufacturers discuss the feasibility of implementing the solution. The experience illustrates how teamwork, adaptability, and communication skills are used to implement the industry's solutions.

Explore the New Manufacturing is currently looking for schools and companies to take part in next year's MIC program, as well as their What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contests, Explore the New Manufacturing Academies, and regional Scrap Competitions. If you would like more information, contact Tom Reed at or (304) 612-4912.

Participating WCTC Students: Lucian Baumgartner, Breanna Kelly, Leah Johnston, Mikey Meyer, Hunter Morrison, and Riley Street.

 DuPont Team Members: Greg Westbrook, Mary’beth Ramey, and Michael Floyd

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About the Program:  Explore the New Manufacturing is a program of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. Explore brings together tomorrow’s workforce with local and regional manufacturing companies to inform students of educational and career opportunities in the state’s manufacturing industry. For more information visit