Hands-on Learning at LI Technology Center

Hands-on Learning at LI Technology Center

A division of the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) welcomed Chaminade students for courses on how science is applied to real-world innovation.

The Composite Prototyping Center (CPC) in Plainview is a state-of-the-art facility which provides businesses and organizations with the space and tools to design and build prototypes, test them, and use their training in the workplace or at schools. The center offers courses to professionals, as well as high-school- and college-age students, who are looking to increase their knowledge base of composite materials and how to work with them.

Composites are used in aeronautics, appliances, and marine vessels, to name a few examples.

Representatives from the Composite Prototyping Center explained these uses to Chaminade students and gave them a chance to build their own small prototypes with carbon fiber, fiberglass, and resin. 3D printers, an automated fiber placement robot system, and autoclaves are among the equipment on display and available for use at the CPC. Some of the technology in use at the facility is the same that will be found at Chaminade's Science, Technology, and Research Center, slated to open in the spring.

"It's real engineering," said Mr. Joseph Ceriello '10, a Chaminade physics teacher who arranged the visits. "It's one thing to hear about composites, why they're so light, how they work, and why they're so strong. But it takes our education to the next level when students can see this technology being developed, and even try their hands at creating it, too."

Stefan Schmitt '18 was one of the students who visited the CPC, and is the president of Chaminade's Aviation Club.

"The hands-on element of the course was great," Schmitt said. "I had a good understanding of composites from the perspective of aviation, but when I actually worked with them, I was amazed and impressed. I was also mesmerized seeing all of the awesome machinery and technology we got to see throughout the building."

Students across all four divisions have participated in the workshops. They completed the course with a certificate and a college credit. More visits will be planned.

A non-profit agency, LIFT began more than 40 years ago, aimed at giving local businesses the resources to use technology in their day-to-day work. The CPC opened in 2014 with funding from the New York State Legislature.