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LIFT Student Manufacturing Challenge

July 7, 2017

Once again, LIFT had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of manufacturing interns from the state of Indiana who are participating in the Conexus Internship program.

The high school students are interns at manufacturing facilities across the state of Indiana. LIFT invested in the program to help support 100 of the interns in 2016 and 2017.

This year, at the annual Conexus Intern Summit held on the Campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, LIFT challenged the interns to solve a lightweight manufacturing problem. They were asked to build hovercrafts out of compact discs, water or milk bottle caps, balloons and tape and design them in such a way to carry as many pennies as possible.

The 260 interns were broken up into teams of four and were given 100 starting points. With those points, they had to purchase their materials and buy time at the manufacturing facility to build their crafts.

Among the decisions the teams were required to make as part of the manufacturing challenge was to go with the smaller, lighter water bottle caps or the larger, cheaper milk bottle caps. They also had to determine how much time they could afford at the manufacturing facility to machine their materials.

In the end, some of the teams carried as many as 150 pennies with their balloon-powered hovercraft and challenged other teams in other rooms.

I think that the students enjoyed the activity,” said Claudia Cummings, Vice President, Workforce and Education, Conexus Indiana. “It’s great to have a partnership with LIFT.”