SCA students design, construct and sell roses made from scrap metal
CATAWISSA RR - Metal grinding against metal, bright sparks filling up the room, the hiss of spray paint - this is the sound of Valentine's Day.
At least, it is to Southern Columbia Area instructor Chris Brown and 17 seniors in his technology education class for the last 10 days, who worked to finish 154 orders of metal flowers - dubbed The Everlasting Rose - before Cupid's arrival today.
"This isn't a real rose that will die. You can't find this anywhere else," said Jake Becker, student and production manager of The Southern Columbia Metal Shop (SCMS), the faux company created within the class to develop, market, create and sell the roses.
This is the second year Brown's classes are making the roses, but only the first year they are attempting to sell them.
The assignment from Brown, who is his 14th year as a teacher, was to create the faux company and then develop a product, logo and slogan.
After several prototypes and practice presentations, they chose their product: roses made from scrap metal, shaped into the romantic flower and spraypainted red, white or yellow.
Part of the design process was done on computers, and Brown said it was his goal to show them they need computer arts design, math and computer backgrounds in order to be engineers.
As their slogan states, "SCMS is an investment in good appearance."
The class held marketing surveys to determine how much teachers and other students would be willing to pay for a metal rose, which are $3 each or $5 for two.
They advertised around school with posters and organized shifts for each worker to make the roses.
Brown said the class was on schedule to make 220 roses by the end of Wednesday - 154 for confirmed orders, 20 to be presented to board members at Monday night's meeting and extra ones, just in case.
"I want them to take a product all the way through, from creation of that product, to selling that product, to building that product, to packaging that product, to shipping that product," he said.
The experience was a positive one, said SCMS President Nate Foust.
"I didn't know at first how it was going to turn out, but it was better than I thought. Everyone came through," he said, noting the project wouldn't have been successful without each class member doing his part.
Becker said he thought Brown was joking when he told the class they would be likely be making more than 100 of the metal roses, and wondered how they would finish such a job by Valentine's Day, today.
However, he said, "Everyone busted their butts."
The students put long hours into production, using any free time they had during study halls or lunch time.
"There are no delays or snow days in the real factories. These people (those who ordered) are expecting these things for Valentine's Day. We'll look bad if we don't get them out," Brown said.
He complimented the students for working together, noting that some stepped up as leaders while others responded better to those in leadership roles.
Brown stepped away as much as possible, and only offered his assistance when the students needed him.
"I think they learned real life work experience through this," he said.
In addition to Foust and Becker, the staff includes foremen Ryan Cherwinski, Jake Vincent and Vinny Forti; personnel managers Ryan Gooler and Jeremy Hulshoff; safety directors Matt Klock and Jared Mengle; quality assurance directors Tyler Rhodomoyer and Colton Temple; marketing directors Garrett Mowery and Chris Woods; advertising directors Shawn Sevison and Will Wertman, and mechanical draftsman Dylan Swank.
The money raised from the roses will be added to the metal shop budget.