- Sponsorship -

Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic? How About Manufacturing, Marketing & Sales?

It may be a little unusual that a 17-year-old is already the CEO of a company but the venture headed by Rolando Garcia is anything but your typical firm.

The company stems from a group of classes Rolando is taking along with about 50 other students at the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Academy of Design and Construction. The school is one of four Centers of Innovation housed at Innovation Central High School, 421 Fountain St. NE.

Classes led by teacher Andrew Abissi wanted to do something aside from the typical candy sales to raise about $600 for a 3-D printer for their school, so they tapped into the knowledge they’ve learned during Abissi’s construction graphics and design classes. Students designed and built four different styles of Adirondack chairs, taking orders for 19 of them during ArtPrize.

“My juniors and seniors drafted everything on a CAD program and developed step-by-step instructions to build it,” Abassi said. “My sophomore class was able to follow those instructions and actually build it.Company CFO Michael Schardt, 18, sands chair parts before they’re assembled

“This has been an amazing learning opportunity for them,” Abassi added. “They’ve learned about cost estimation, how to design and make their design work, marketing skills, craftsmanship, presentation skills, and just general team work.”

Using what the classes teach and more

A team from the company made a presentation to district administrators who offered to cover half the cost of the printer if the class raised the other half, which they’ve done. The class also took an historical detour, studying up on Henry Ford and discovering an assembly line would greatly benefit construction.

Rolando created the original design, elegant enough that variations could easily be made, Abissi said. Now, there are four different styles available including one in a silhouette of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, what Abissi described as a kind of Hawaiian floral design, another in the shape of a football helmet and the last including the Michigan State University logo.

“I was really excited to get into this program, but I never expected to be doing all of this,” said Rolando, who aims to become a project manager some day. “It’s pretty much giving me the experience that I’ll need in my future career and in college.”

The chairs come in painted or unpainted versions, with the painted ones costing $150 and the unpainted $100. Students can work on five chairs at a time and can finish three of the unpainted variety in a day though the painted ones take five days. The class can turn a maximum profit of about $75 on each chair, though profits depend on waste.

- Sponsorship -

LATEST ARTICLES

Vaccine trial participant: ‘I really want to get back to normal’

Orchestra teacher and cellist Eric Hudson longs for the days when he can direct student musicians in concerts and tours and play in his own ensemble once again. To help speed that process along, he is participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial...

Longtime agriscience teacher earns honorary FFA degree

After 24 years of teaching, John Schut believes incorporating fun and service into education is more engaging for students than taking notes in a classroom...

Stress, studies and the pandemic: a steep learning curve

In response to the social and emotional impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockford’s Developing Healthy Kids Campaign wants students and families to know they are not alone...

Health Department helps schools tackle challenges of instruction, during winter, in a pandemic

Working with the health department has been crucial in helping area school leaders understand the nature of COVID-19, the types of mitigation strategies that can be most effective and how to plan for the future...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

‘See who we are … see GRPS’

Many are eagerly anticipating the release of an alumni directory listing tens of thousands of GRPS graduates, to be published in conjunction with the district’s 150th anniversary in 2021...

Even in virtual year, turkey trotters still run for GRPS athletics

Some 1,600 people ran a virtual Turkey Trot in 2020 to support K-12 student athletics at GRPS...

Handyman helps guard employees against sneezes and other hazards

Protective barriers for many GRPS employees were created by a fellow GRPS employee this summer and fall, at a cost far less than purchasing them would have been...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS