Realizing Solutions with Plexus
By Elise Saenger-Heyl
Have you ever wondered where the Coke Freestyle machines at Wendy’s and Five Guys come from? Turns out they were partially designed by the company who hosted our first immersion day for elementary, Plexus. Plexus describes their work as “realizing solutions,” a real-world example of project-based learning in industry! This company works to bring products to life for customers through design, engineering, testing, and manufacturing. A few companies that Plexus works for include Johnson & Johnson, GE, and Coca-Cola.
In our immersion experience today, we experienced all three branches of engineering involved in the realizing solutions process – electrical, software, and mechanical. We worked hands-on with materials to understand more about what each branch of engineering does in the process. Great conversations were had regarding connections between schools and STEM companies and we received many great ideas to incorporate in our PBL units.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway came from a discussion with the mechanical engineers about failure. One of the employees said, “if you are working on something hard enough, you cannot do it right the first time.” What an important message to take back to our students – failure is an essential part of the process, and without failure, we do not learn!