SPE Plastivan™ Introduces Holyoke High School Students to Opportunities in the World of Plastics and Thermoforming
Holyoke, MA – Dean Technical High School students in Holyoke, MA received an education in plastics this month during a visit by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Plastivan™ Outreach Education Program. The program, sponsored by Universal Plastics, sister company of Mayfield Plastics, and the Western New England Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers, introduced students to plastics chemistry, history, manufacturing, sustainability and applications. Students participated in hands-on scientific activities learning the advantages of plastics versus other materials, environmental benefits, and careers in engineering.
“We are excited to be a co-sponsor of this event as it complements our outreach efforts in the community to educate young people on the excellent opportunities in manufacturing today”, said Joe Peters, CEO of Universal Plastics. “Many students today still think of manufacturing as dark and dirty factories and not high tech environments offering excellent jobs and wages,” Peters said. Mr. Peters has been an active proponent of workforce development in Western Massachusetts and educating youth on opportunities in manufacturing. He has been highly involved in the community and is a current Board member of Holyoke Community College Foundation, Career Point, Holyoke Mayor’s Industrial Development Advisory Committee.
Dustin Rose Joyner, Department Head for the Mathematics & Sciences at Dean Technical High School, stated, “I can assure you that quite a few students left your presentation with a better understanding of the plastics industry as well as peaked curiosities as to how it can be applied. We truly appreciate Universal Plastics for allowing this to happen and look forward to, what we hope, will lead to more students understanding and considering the chemical engineering industry and others like it.”
The Plastivan, in its 19th year, educates students of all ages throughout North America by “Driving Opportunities in Plastics Engineering and Technology.” The goal of the program is to increase student knowledge of the contributions of plastics in modern life and promote careers in engineering. Specific material covered with the high school students included how plastics are processed and manufactured and information on material used.
“We hope that students attending the session departed with a clearer understanding of how plastic products impact their lives on a daily basis and more importantly be more aware of the many opportunities in engineering and plastics technology today,” Peters said.
The PlastiVan Program is a great way to WOW and excite young people about science and the vast opportunities the plastics industry has to offer. PlastiVans travel to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about plastic’s chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and application. Easily integrated into school curricula, the PlastiVan mission is to provide sound science and educational programs which spark scientific curiosity in students while increasing their knowledge of the contribution plastics make to modern life.