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    Posted November 12, 2012 by
    Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee

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    Franklin County High School partners with Arnold Engineering Development Complex on a building project

    ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. – When Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) needed tables built for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition, they turned to Franklin County High School’s (FCHS) carpentry class.

    The requirements were very specific and time was of the essence. The students had about one and half months to get the job done and to complete all of their required safety training.

    When FCHS first received the call from AEDC, Jerry Venson, a FCHS instructor, was eager to accept the challenge.

    “I think it is always good for our students to interact with the community leaders for guidance and career connections, as well as giving back to the community,” said Venson. “The students were excited and pleased about the chance to build the tables.”

    The tables were needed for upcoming Lego League competitions. Lego League is an international competition for students that focuses on a different real-world topic related to the sciences each year. The robotics part of the competition revolves around designing and programming robots to complete various tasks.

    During a recent ceremony at the high school, the finished tables were given to AEDC leadership.

    Jere Matty, AEDC STEM coordinator, did a robot demonstration to show students exactly how the tables would be used.

    “The tables are key to the Lego League since these tables are used to ‘train’ the robots for the upcoming contests,” said Matty.

    “We had the idea of having the students build these tables since they will be used by other students in area middle schools and FCHS has a very talented and willing instructor in Mr. Venson.”

    “This year I have two advanced classes and this definitely helped us in getting the tables done in the time allotted,” said Venson. “I had a total of 25 students working on them and they enjoyed getting the chance to do it and I think they did a great job.”

    AEDC Commander, Col. Raymond Toth, agreed. He also told the carpentry students why the work they do is so important.

    “This project highlights the link between vocational work and science, technology, engineering and math,” he said. “Engineers and scientists can have a great idea, but it takes skilled craftsmen like carpenters, machinists and pipefitters, for example, to turn the idea into reality. These groups must work together, and we need both at AEDC.”

    DJ Duehmig, one of the students in the class and the only female in the group, said she did a lot of sanding on these tables.

    “Most of our projects are for other classes at the school,” she said. “We don’t get many outside projects and we were really glad we were able to help the Air Force Base. I liked the final product and it was nice to see how our tables would be used.”

    Duehmig wants to be a civil engineer, but when one of the classes she wanted was filled, her brother suggested carpentry. She said he told her it would be beneficial for a civil engineer to understand how to build things.

    After congratulating the students, the commander presented each of them with a special coin, a military tradition, representing a job well done.

    The Lego League tables will be used by seven area teams sponsored by AEDC or its prime contractor, Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA). ATA made a $500 donation to the FCHS class for its work on the project.

    Caption for photo 121005-F-GV828-028 : Members of Franklin County High School’s Carpentry Class stand behind one of the tables they built for Lego League Competition. (Photo by Jackie Cowan)

    Caption for Photo 121005-F-GV-828-034: Arnold Engineering Development Complex Commander, Col. Raymond Toth (left) gives a special coin to students at Franklin County High School to congratulate them on a job well done. (Photo by Jackie Cowan)

    Caption for Photo 121005-F-GV-828-040: (left to right) Franklin County High School instructor, Jerry Venson, talks with Aerospace Testing Alliance General Manager, Steve Pearson and AEDC Commander, Col. Raymond Toth after a ceremony in which FCHS gave AEDC leadership tables students built for AEDC’s educational outreach program. (Photo by Jackie Cowan)

    Caption for Photo 121005-F-GV-828-046: The students added a special logo to each of the seven tables they built for Arnold Engineering Development Center’s educational outreach. (Photo by Jackie Cowan)

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