WMU Course Introduces High Schoolers to Metalcasting

For each of the last 20 summers, Dr. Sam Ramrattan has been offering a one-week, hands-on metalcasting workshop for 10th-12th grade students at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Parkview Campus Metal Casting Laboratory of Western Michigan University.

The workshops offered to the students range from the history of metalcasting, to trends in metalcasting, to casting processes and quality of castings. Students explore the use of computers, math and material science as it relates to metalcasting, as well as molding, melting and finishing a casting. In addition to the workshops and labs, the students can meet with WMU administrators to discuss university entrance requirements and expectations.

For the students to truly experience the industry first-hand, they are taken on a tour in the western Michigan area that includes a foundry, a diecaster and an investment caster. One of the highlights is the students’ participation in a roundtable discussion with various representatives from the metalcasting industry. This time gives students an opportunity to ask questions related to casting processes as well as to learn about the career opportunities available in the metalcasting industry.

This past summer, the 22 students who participated were from various high schools throughout the Midwest as well as a few local home-schooled students. Thanks to the AFS Western Michigan Chapter, AFS Central Michigan Chapter, Saginaw Valley AFS Chapter, CAC Ohio AFS Chapter, AFS Northern Indiana Chapter, NADCA Chapter 3 Grand Rapids, and the Foundry Educational Foundation, the costs associated with room, board and transportation of the students was covered.

Click here to see this story as it appears in the March 2019 issue of Modern Casting