Oct. 20, 2023 - Twenty students from Canyon High School and Memorial Early College High School visited Continental and Detex to celebrate Manufacturing Student Day and Manufacturing Month Oct. 5 in New Braunfels.
The robotics and engineering students along with their Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers toured the facilities and observed the manufacturing process in action. The tours were coordinated in collaboration with the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and the New Braunfels Manufacturing Association.
“While students spend a significant amount of time in the classroom studying various concepts, they sometimes fail to grasp the greater implications of the lessons they are learning,” says Mason Cardiff, robotics and CTE teacher at MECHS. “By visiting companies like Continental and Detex, they have the opportunity to witness the full manifestation of the various concepts they are learning – not only in regards to robotics, but soft skills like teamwork, collaboration, time management and more.”
Robotics and CTE teacher Bobby Harms from CHS agrees. Harms and Cardiff accompanied 10 students each on the tours.
“Tours like this give students more motivation to learn. It is easier to work towards something or set a goal if you know what the end goal looks like,” Harms says. “They get to experience what a real job looks like and see what a professional work environment feels like. There are many opportunities for students leaving high school to immediately start a career.”
Tours like these also motivate teachers.
“Witnessing this myself furthered my own conviction to continue to provide students with challenges and problems that do not have clear solutions, forcing them to engage in collaborative working groups to develop a functional solution,” says Cardiff. “Additionally, it is a reminder of the importance of getting industry partners in the classroom to further the students’ knowledge.”
Continental, which recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its manufacturing plant in New Braunfels, gave students a firsthand look at production, cobots or collaborative robots and total productive maintenance areas. They also had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of Continental employees representing each department while enjoying lunch.
Currently, the 215,000-square-foot facility has 17 production lines running and has created more than 400 jobs since it opened last year. The New Braunfels plant produces products for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which serve as the foundation for assisted and automated driving.
The company actively supports local manufacturing and technical education programs.
Similarly, Detex offered students a tour of its facilities to promote manufacturing and show students the possibilities of a career in the industry. For more than a century, Detex has provided safety and security products including door hardware, loss prevention and architectural hardware, integrated door security systems and guard tour verification.
Annually, the first Friday in October is considered Manufacturing Day, also called MFG Day. On this day, the industry encourages companies and educational institutions to open their doors to students, parents, educators and community leaders. Over the next decade, manufacturers will seek to fill 4 million high-skilled, high-tech and high-paying jobs.
Businesses interested in learning more about Comal ISD CTE programs such as robotics and engineering, may contact Renee Martinez at [email protected].
-Comal ISD high school students toured the Continental manufacturing plant on Oct. 5 as part of Manufacturing Student Day.
-Comal ISD high school students toured the Continental manufacturing plant on Oct. 5.
-Comal ISD high school students toured Detex as part of Manufacturing Student Day.