The Technical School For Wood Technology in Beckum, Germany, is an institution with a fine tradition in further education in North Rhine-Westphalia. It has conducted operational project work for a long time.
In the second half of the final year at school, meaning from January to March, the students of the Technical School have eight to ten weeks to realize an independent project. In this time it is the aim of the project to combine the at least four year work experience of the students with their newly acquired theoretical knowledge.
The students gather practical experience in the course of a project cooperation which is carried out with partner companies as well in Germany as abroad. The following projects have been realized in the last few years in the Technical School:
The vocational college in Beckum which contains the Technical School is very interested in companies presenting practical objectives to its students, thereby facilitating their future entrance into professional life. There is also a great concern with cooperations with industry and trade abroad. So far many such international contacts have been established and they are continuously extended.
The topics and content of the project may stem from all areas and departments of production or organization, such as material handling engineering, human resources management, product development, manufacturing machines and processes, construction and final design, quality management, control and automatic control engineering, master production scheduling and production control, production logistics etc.
For the advising teachers it is important that projects are dealt with in smaller groups if possible. Also the projects should not be of an exclusively replicative nature, e.g. determination of the as-is state.
The students are expected to face challenges comprehending the development and application of problem solving strategies as well as the ability to show creativity and flexibility in new and unfamiliar situations.
It is self-evident that the usability of the project results is of high priority for the company involved as many project realizations attest.
At the end of the project the students will compile an extensive documentation, present their results in both company and school and receive a grade which will appear on their diploma as an independent grade.
Any claims for refunds concerning costs created by accommodation, travel expenses or material must be clarified by all participants *before* the beginning of the project.
A membership in the development association of the Technical School Beckum following the project work is desired as well as a common publication (professional journals, Internet, local press) about the cooperation. As a matter of course the interests of the cooperation partners dealing with nondisclosure of internal data will be accounted for.
Industrial safety in the case of bodily injury is warranted.
It is however of interest to all participants that the students receive the information they need to accomplish their assignment.