CDME lab visit inspires Columbus high school students

Posted: July 26, 2023
group of people looking at additively manufactured parts
AIMS Faculty Director Mike Groeber gives a demo to Northland High School visitors

The chance to see what it’s like to manufacture parts, improve their composition or have an impact on their design could be all that it takes to inspire someone to become an engineer. 

The Ohio State University Department of Integrated Systems Engineering recently provided that opportunity to a group of students from Northland High School in Columbus. 

“You can see them get excited,” Mike Groeber, Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (AIMS) Lab faculty director says of the students’ visit to the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME). “We showed them the entirety of the center – what I would call classic manufacturing.” 

Then, Groeber introduced them to advanced manufacturing in the additive manufacturing lab, showing them “more complex geometries, more intricate designs.” 

“We showed them new-age tools for design,” he says, adding that’s when it began to click for the students that their ideas to make improvements on a part could be turned into realities. 

“Getting them excited about engineering is step one,” Groeber says. “When you show someone they can make something, it grounds them a little bit.” 

Being able to touch and hold the parts and see how different processes can make the same parts a lighter weight, for example, resonates in a way that simply explaining complex systems cannot, he says. 

The students also visited the Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Lab. Groeber says by visiting all the labs, the students were able to see how the different disciplines of engineering come together and communicate with one another to enhance the process. 

In addition to the tour of CDME, the students in Northland math and engineering teacher John Kellar’s class heard from ISE Department Chair Farhang Pourboghrat, had a spacewalk lesson from Assistant Professor Martijn IJtsma and had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with ISE students. 

“Northland High School has historically had a strong relationship with Ohio State and, in particular, the College of Engineering,” says Howard Greene, director of K-12 Education Outreach for the College of Engineering.  

Greene says the high school has participated in a variety of activities through the College of Engineering, including events hosted by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and a career readiness program sponsored by the STEM Industry Council. Past field trips by the school have included visits to the Cognitive Systems Engineering Lab and the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis. 


Story by Nancy Richison for Department of Integrated Systems Engineering

Category: Outreach