Over the last 2 years, PGC has partnered with Project Lead the Way, a program offered at Edina High school and Middle schools. This program helps create an engaging classroom environment and empowers students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges. Through classes in engineering, technology, and science, students learn technical skills as well as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. PGC and EHS have worked together to offer an internship to students taking PLTW classes and give them inside access and experience to real world problems and application specific engineering. Now in its fifth round, the partnership is looking for ways to include the elementary schools and get kids inspired and involved in STEM at a much younger age.
Our latest intern, Natasha Thompson, a senior at EHS, looking to enter the Mechanical Engineering field upon graduation in the spring. Natasha wanted the internship to get a better idea of what an average day is like in the life of an engineer. She was also interested in what aspects of her future job were not already taught in her previous 5 years’ experience of PLTW classes. While here, Natasha worked on a variety of real-life projects for some of PGC’s biggest customers. She also designed some equipment to assist on the manufacturing floor using 3D modeling and our on-site 3D printer. Natasha had previous experience working with similar software so it was a smooth transition to pick up the modeling package utilized by PGC. Working with our Applications Engineers, Natasha helped with a re-design of an adhesive gasket for better manufacturability. She was able to see how a PGC part moves through multiple business units including sales, engineering, materials selection, estimating, supply chain, manufacturing, and account management. Natasha was surprised by how much went into selecting the right material for the right application and how all of the various departments within PGC collaborate together. She was interested to see the manufacturing operations, as this was something not discussed often in her classes at EHS. Natasha finished her internship with an overview presentation about her experience to staff and faculty members of the Edina District and internal PGC employees. We are hopeful this internship will assist in guiding her to the right career path within her field and as she starts her college experience.
PGC is already looking forward to our next round of EHS students arriving in the Spring.