Precision Plus Delves into Remote Problem Solving and Instruction

Michael Reader

Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus, teamed with Elkhorn Area High School’s Project Lead The Way (PLTW ) teacher Fred Ganter to give his Introduction to Engineering and Design (IED) students a chance to reverse engineer some obsolete components.

The premise of the project was that if an older machine had a component fail and a replacement component was no longer available, then a component replacement would have to be machined. To machine the component a print would be needed.

The students were broken into groups and assigned components to first sketch and then measure. The students then used Autodesk CAD Inventor software to model the components and finally develop a working print of the part.

Throughout the project, however, teams had a chance to interact and be coached remotely by Barry Butters, who is a certified PLTW Engineering Design and Development (EDD) instructor. He regularly logged in, in real time, into the system in order to view and discuss the progress of the projects with each individual team.