Junior High Teacher Shares Impact of Foundry in a Box
May 20, 2014
West Milwaukee Intermediate School students are learning metalcasting thanks to the efforts of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Foundry Society and teachers like Andrew Mente, technology education teacher for the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District in Wisconsin. Mente and the AFS chapter have worked together to demonstrate the process to seventh and eighth graders with the Foundry in a Box.
Mente shared the value of this partnership and its positive influence on the students in an article he wrote for his fellow teachers, which can be read here.
“Students were very excited when I first told them about the prospective of creating unique objects out of metal,” Mente wrote. “My students have never seen anything like it before.”
Mente shared one example of a student whose first efforts at making a mold failed to produce a good casting. He discussed with the student what could have gone wrong and how to fix it. They ended up widening the gate and venting the distant areas of the mold, which resulted in successful castings.
“Seeing him carefully inspect his castings after breaking loose the sand was a great joy to me,” Mente wrote. “It was hard to diminish his enthusiasm for creating objects every day after that.”
Since its inception, the Foundry in a Box has been utilized at events and schools to interest and educate the next generation of metalcasters. The kit allows students and teachers to create their own castings, from pressing the oil-based sand into a small matchplate mold, melting tin in a microwave oven and safely pouring the molten metal into the mold. For more information on Foundry in a Box, click here.
The American Foundry Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1896. With its headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS provides members and consumers with information and services to promote and strengthen the metalcasting industry.