Plastics program partners with area high schools

September 15, 2014
Center for Plastics Processing

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — This year, high school students will continue to have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in manufacturing technology at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Center for Plastics Processing Technology in the Department of Industrial Studies. For the past five years, this program has been provided to high schools free of charge by a grant supported by the Society of Plastics Engineers, Milwaukee Section. It is open to any high school or middle school students in the region.

The program offers approximately 42 modules that discuss plastics materials, industrial materials and assembly in manufacturing while giving students the opportunity to manufacture plastic parts. This program has proven to be a valuable tool, introducing the high school and middle school students to the concept of science and engineering and providing them with an experience in the manufacturing field.

Dr. Majid Tabrizi, professor of plastics technology at UW-Platteville, played a major role in creating the program. “We have a multi-million dollar investment in our center. This is perhaps the most efficient way for the state to offer science and engineering to high school and middle school curricular programs without any additional budget expenses,” Tabrizi said. “Our goal is to open our laboratory to high school and middle school students. This provides them with experience and appreciation for the field of science and engineering. The participation of these talented students in manufacturing prepares a work force for industry. We're trying to expose students and teach them the field at a young age so they can choose their future more wisely."

During the course of this program, the participating high school and middle school students will go through a variety of modules which include industrial materials, the engineering and technical field, thermoplastics, thermoforming, blow forming, injection molding, casting and fabrication as well as part assembly. The activities will be selected from the 42 modules by the high school and middle school faculty, based on the nature of the courses in their school. 

Under the supervision of UW-Platteville students and faculty, the high school and middle school students operate equipment such as injection molders, roll and sheet fed thermoformers, and other existing equipment. The newly-acquired roll-fed thermoformer demonstrates the state-of-the-art technology currently used in manufacturing. The students produce actual products, including a package which holds a key chain, an ice scraper, a CD and educational brochure. The students will learn the assembly concepts and they will take their own products home. During the manufacturing process, UW-Platteville students and Tabrizi discuss the materials that go into making the products.

This program is free of charge. The SPE-Milwaukee Section sponsors the transportation and student lunch. The Center for Plastics Processing Technology at UW-Platteville will support the materials and required work force. The program is a full day activity, and can be offered on Fridays during the academic year.

For more information or to schedule a time to attend the program, contact Tabrizi at (608) 342-1115 or

Formatted by: Alison Parkins, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,


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