Author Archives: Austin Poly Technique

APA Bubble Beast Returns and how you can help

APA Bubble Beast Returns and how you can help

Last Spring, a handful of APA teachers took a fresh swing at an old challenge:  how to motivate & prepare students for the ACT test?  And it was out of this riddle that the idea of Bubble Beast was born and piloted with the Junior Class of 2012-2013.    This year we are expanding the program to a a year-long Bubble Beast competition which

incorporates all 4 grade levels in which there are 6 teams of 35 with 7-10 students from each grade level. 


Competitions occur approximately every three weeks replacing class time with all-day or ½-day events which incorporate all school, grade-level, and sub team level meetings and activities. Competitions include a mixture of active challenges and paper/pencil activities. Points are awarded for meeting goals tied to the key metrics by which APA’s progress is monitored. 

You know that box of 150 key chains left over from last year’s trade show that sits in the back of your company’s storage closet taking up space?  Those little “eye catchers” make great add-ons to prize packages we award to students at the end of Bubble Beast Events. Mini flash lights, rulers, pens, bags with company logos, sunglasses, hats, puzzles, magnets, memory sticks, etc. We can make use these incentives and any financial donations to purchase supplies and snacks for student competitions.  Thank you for supporting this APA-school-wide initiative!  

Interior Design Project Complete!

Interior Design Project Complete!

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Qunicy Adams  

This statement exemplifies the Manufacturing Connect Interior Design Project. Our desire was to make our offices more functional and fun for every student, parent, community member, MR and CPS staff.

Even with a tight budget, with the dedication and creativity of a small Interior Design Intern team from Columbia College, a small dedicated group of APA students and some wonderful engineers and custodians, our space is now complete with inspirational quotes painted on the ceiling, dry erase boards and desks, a super fun college area with computers and giant bean bags and so much more. 

On January 29th we had a reveal party and open house to welcome students, staff and neighbors into our new space. Looking forward to many more inspirational moments to come! 

Tech Talk | Where are they now?

Tech Talk | Where are they now?
The APA Career Program is unique because it provides graduates with opportunities to work for good companies, making good money right out of school. Here are a few of the great examples of Austin Polytech graduates finding career-track jobs in manufacturing right out of high school.
Diquan, Class 2012
Full-time Southern Illinois University student since Fall 2012 majoring in engineering
Works at Hudson Precision as an Inspector during summers and holiday breaks to help pay for college while getting great work experience.
Highlight: President and Owner Joan Wrenn told us: “Finding a great employee like Diquan who is also serious about continuing his education reinforces my commitment to supporting a school like Austin Polytech.”
Asia, Class of 2012
Works as a Junior Buyer for Aallied Die Casting. Responsible for keeping stock of all items, making sure everything is organized, doing purchasing for everything used in the plant from office supplies to the tools the guys need and parts for the machines.
Highlights: Asia told us the best part about her job is “the learning experience that I am gaining while being there and me knowing that I am helping to make my company to be #1.”
Asia is currently enrolled part-time at Harold Washington College to take classes in nursing.

Rahkeem, Class of 2012
Works for Paasche Airbrush Company, a manufacturer of high quality air brush equipment used in movie special effects and graphic arts projects.
Machine Operator: operates and programs a machine that makes air brush parts. He has been working at the company for over one year and has had two raises and one promotion since he began as a trainee. His main responsibilities are to make sure that the machines are running properly and to repair them when they break down.
Highlights: Rahkeem takes great pride in his job and feels a great sense of accomplishment when his supervisor tells him that the parts he makes are correct. In the future Rahkeem is thinking about studying architecture or work towards becoming a foreman at Paasche Airbrush Co..
Desmond and Mark, Class of 2012

Work at Zenith Fabrication Company which makes incubators for high school and college science labs. Desmond is a new hire and has been working for a two months, Mark has been on the job for almost four months and is looking forward to getting a raise in September.
Assembler: Both young men are assemblers and know how to build their product from the ground up.
Highlights: “I knew exactly what I was doing when I first started because of what I learned at school” said Desmond who will be working while attending Triton College in the fall of 2013 and majoring in pre-engineering. Mark also has aspirations to attend school or the military in the near future and believes that his manufacturing training will help build the foundation for his career. When asked about what they would tell current APA students, they both replied “Take advantage of everything you learn in school because you’ll be using it when you go to work.”
Javon, Class of 2013 and Trevon, Class of 2012
Work for William Dudek Manufacturing Company, a manufacturer of many of the parts on Weber grills, some of the most popular grills in the United States.
Machine Operators: Trevon has been operating a “Four Slide” machine since December 2012. Javon has been on the job for nearly one month and is training to be a machine operator. Both young men are responsible for troubleshooting machinery as well as for making sure that the dimensions of the parts produced are correct.
Highlights: When asked about the challenges of their work, Javon replied, “The biggest challenge is keeping up with the differences between the machines.” “We have different machines that do different things so I need to make sure I set them up correctly.” Trevon said “You have to make sure that all of the parts of the machines are turned on so it can operate correctly.” Both of these APA grads get a lot of satisfaction from doing their jobs correctly and love getting paid for something they actually learned about in high school. Both young men also plan on furthering their education in the near future.

Torres, Class of 2012
Works for WaterSaver Faucet who manufactures faucets and emergency eyewash equipment for school science labs using computerized machinery. WaterSaver Faucet has been an APA Partner for over seven years and is our single largest manufacturing company supporter who has provided key funding for the Manufacturing Technology Center as well as for two staff positions in our school.
Machine Operator: Torres has been working at WaterSaver for five months and enjoys his work. His primary responsibilities are “boring” and “tapping” parts and making sure that all of the parts he produces are made to the exact specifications required. He stated “It’s more important to make a few parts really well rather than making a lot of parts that don’t meet standards.”
Highlights: Torres says he enjoys the freedom that his job gives him. He gets to work with his hands and does not have to be in the same place for the whole day. Torres says his biggest challenge is making sure he gets to work on time, especially because he takes public transit every morning but he accomplishes it and cannot remember the last time he was late. He feels a sense of accomplishment because he knows that the parts he is making are going into a quality product that is used all over the United States.
Torres’s advice to future APA graduates: “Concentrate on your education. Your education is the number one thing you need to focus on in high school.”