Randolph County students get new perspective on manufacturing

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Manufacturing isn’t what it used to be.

In the generation of Sonny Hayes and Dylan Brady’s fathers, it had to do with running some machine. For Sonny and Dylan, it’s much deeper than that – it’s about physics, chemistry and running the computer-driven machines that produce the product you sometimes help create.

So when Randolph Community College used a large grant to create a program to help get students in county schools excited about manufacturing today, ag mechanics teacher Anthony Atwell thought it was right up his students’ alley.

“I started looking through the proposal and I said, 'I think some of our students can do that,'” says Atwell. “They’re involved with the welding and involved with the, what I call, wrench turning.”

The program is called “Reality Redesigned” and in it, students are presented with scenarios for which they have to develop and manufacture a solution.

Southwestern Randolph students Dylan and Sonny had a situation where a man wants to ride his bike for fitness, but has to cut his grass. So they put the two together and created a bicycle mower.

“Everybody else is going the easy route,” says Dylan. “And with this mower, you can mow the thicker grass and if you have obstacles like a stick or rocks or something you can still keep mowing and it won't stop you.”

Atwell thinks they may really be on to something with their product.

“They have a serious passion in it and I think if they set their minds to it, this could really go somewhere,” says Atwell.

See their product in this edition of the Buckley Report.