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Bison Kicks off ILIT Learning Challenge with Local Teachers and IMSA Staff 02/24/2012

From left to right: Idiis Ibrahim (Islamic Foundation School), Matt Hanson (Bison Gear), Lucinda Williams (IMSA), Mike O'Donnell (Bison Gear), Sarah Schneider (Infinity Math, Science and Technology Academy), Neil Schmidgall (Glenbrook High School), Sylvia Wetzel (Bison Gear), John Burch (Bison Gear), Iftikhar Hussain (Islamic Foundation School) 

February 24, 2012—St. Charles, IL—In order to build a more competitive and skilled engineering workforce for the future, Bison Gear and Engineering is working with the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) on the 2012 ILIT challenge to local area high school students. Bison's challenge to the students: find a working mechanism for their new brushless servo motor, ServoNOW™. Over the course of the semester, Bison engineers will be working with the students, teachers and IMSA support staff on this challenge designed to test the students on fundamental engineering principals and skills: algebra, trigonometry, physics, computer programming and industrial design.

The ILIT challenge utilizes problem based learning to educate high school students on identifying, understanding and solving real world applications. The 2012 ServoNOW™ challenge from Bison Gear promises to fulfill those requirements. Students will have full ownership of the project as they design, fabricate and test a working application for the ServoNOW™ motor. For assistance, students will be working with Bison engineers to act as technical experts on the product, and to help guide the students through any issues or problems that may arise throughout the semester. Some typical questions the students are expected to answer will be:

  • How do products like ServoNOW contribute to the country's economy?
  • What are the benefits of understanding the manufacturing industry?
  • How can innovation play a role in the advancement of manufacturing?
  • How do entrepreneurs weigh the elements of a product in relation to the environment, safety, and regulations?

"Manufacturing has always been the strength of the American economy; and product innovation is crucial to the success of manufacturing companies. That's why we are excited about the opportunity to work with these talented high school students from Glenbrook South, The Infinity Math & Science Academy and the Islamic Foundation on this design challenge. The students have the opportunity to apply the skills that they are learning to help companies, such as Bison, solve real world problems. In the process, we can help open their eyes to the opportunities available in the manufacturing sector. We look forward to seeing their presentations at the end of the project." says General Product Manager at Bison Gear, John Burch. The project kicked off on February 22, 2012 with introductions of IMSA staff, high school science teachers participating as team leaders, and Bison engineers. Participants enjoyed a full day of events, including an overview of Bison, a tour of our manufacturing floor and one-on-one time with Bison engineers to get better acquainted with the product.

ServoNOWLooking forward, Bison will continue to support teachers and students with technical expertise on the ServoNOW™. Each group will receive a ServoNOW™ motor and a $250.00 stipend from Bison to apply the motor in a working mechanism that demonstrates the advantages of the product. On April 30th, the 60+ students who are participating will present their ideas to Bison officials. These ideas will be incorporated into kits for future industry and educational training. Bison will be updating their news section with the progression for this project on their website (www.bisongear.com). For information on the ILIT program, please visit http://coolhub.imsa.edu/web/ilit2011. 

About IMSA

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. (https://www3.imsa.edu/)

About Bison

Bison Gear and Engineering began in 1960 by designing problem-solving gearboxes and gear motors for their customers. Today, the company has grown into an industry leader in electric motor, gear motor and gear reducer products by implementing innovative lean manufacturing processes, a world class engineering and support team driven by their Robusticity™ design philosophy; allowing Bison to consistently expand its product line with new motion control and power transmission solutions.  

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