- Sponsorship -

Building a Better Back-Up

Tech Center Student Designs Forklift Innovation


If engineers look at the world and ask, “What could work better?” Caleb Sible would probably say forklift driving.

The pros must agree, since judges in The CAD Academy just awarded him a new laptop as the third-place winner of the Design Something competition for his design of a specialized camera mount just for forklifts. Caleb’s design would allow drivers to see in front of and behind them, a problem he encountered first-hand.

Rendering of Caleb’s forklift camera mount design
Rendering of Caleb’s forklift camera mount design

Caleb, a Kent City senior, drove a forklift while working on his grandfather’s farm. He repeatedly found stacks of crates blocking his view, forcing him to drive “blind” around them. “I just saw a problem that needed something to be done about it.”

Now in his second year in Kent Career Tech Center’s Engineering & Architectural Design Program, he said they are encouraged to bring their ideas to life. So he did, researching specialized cameras online, including the type used in cars for assistance backing up.

From those ideas he designed a shaft for mounting a camera, which would live feed to a monitor on the forklift driver’s console. “A lot of driving is just spatial awareness skills,” Caleb said. “If you’re stacking in a tight space or really high up, doing cold storage or seeing if anyone’s in front of you, it (his design) would make the forklift driver’s job a lot safer, more efficient.”

Because of his Tech Center class, Caleb now can take ideas from paper to the virtual drawing board. For his winning entry, he started drawing on graph paper, then visualized the camera mount down to the tiniest details using computer software called SolidWare.

Students like Caleb have an advantage if they can relate their first classroom projects to experiences they’ve had, instructor Lawrence Ridley said. They begin by reverse engineering objects into their simplest parts, which helps them see “how we design something out of our heads and make it show up in the computer screen.”

Caleb’s current project is to boost the fuel efficiency of his family’s lawn tractor. The tiny carburetor and connected pieces currently consume his desk space. He hopes to take on an old theory about vapor-based fuel systems and find fuel savings. “I’m taking several different ideas and putting a twist on it,” he said.

He said he comes from a long line of tinkerers and inventors on both sides of the family. He said his great-grandfather was instrumental in designing the push-in feature for kitchen stove controls, which prevents them from being bumped “on” accidentally.

This heritage provided a childhood’s worth of opportunities to do tinkering of his own, Caleb said, especially with machinery on his grandpa’s farm. “I like operating things,” he said. “I’ve always loved trucks and tractors, just messing around with things.”

Tech Center engineering student Caleb Sible with instructor Larry Ridley
Tech Center engineering student Caleb Sible with instructor Larry Ridley

He wants to become a mechanical engineer, and just spent spring break in a new job at Ravenna Pattern and Manufacturing. Following in his brother’s footsteps, he plans to work part-time while attending Muskegon Community College, then transfer to Ferris State University to complete his degree.

While his brother works with the machines that make parts, Caleb hopes to design the products themselves. “The way I look at a lot of things is, there’s always a better way to do something. And why aren’t we doing that yet?” he said. “If you think about it, every square inch of something’s been designed.”

CAD Academy is a secondary and post-secondary pre-engineering and pre-architectural software program that helps middle and high school students in the U.S. explore technology-oriented career paths through real-world projects that deepen understanding of science, engineering, architecture and mathematics.

CONNECT

Kent Career Tech Center

CAD Academy

- 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

Career education expert takes on new Kent ISD assistant superintendent position

Amid COVID-19, Sue Gardner took on a brand new role as Kent ISD assistant superintendent helping to administer and support the existing high school programs and help start new ones...

Have cart, will travel

A Southeast Kelloggsville Elementary music teacher has a new cart for her ukuleles, thanks to her school, her husband and the Kent Career Tech Center...

KCTC and KTC Core students roll up their sleeves to help reduce water runoff at Kent ISD

The water from the Kent ISD area feeds into the Lamberton Creek watershed. The plants will aid in reducing the amount added to the creek...
- 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