Klein Cain High School’s ‘Cain Tank’ Paves the Path to Innovation
Engineering & Robotics Instructor Joe Malchar and his students are setting the course for innovation with Klein Cain High School’s ‘Cain Tank.’
Cain Tank is a student-led (under the supervision of Malchar) engineering design firm. The firm consists of Junior and Senior Klein Cain Robotics and Engineering students who take on special projects at clients’ request to gain real-world experience.
“Something like this only works when students feel a part of it,” said Joe Malchar, Cain Tank Adviser. “Yes, I’m the teacher, but I’m also their co-worker working alongside them on projects. It’s a way I can lend my knowledge and be part of the learning process that leads to their success.”
Cain Tank is in its second year and has already had several clients within the Klein Cain Community.
Cain Live, the school’s student-run media outlet, was the first client to request a service from Cain Tank by asking for a camera support system. The firm’s other projects include mock pharmacy cabinets for Pharmacy-Tech students, waterproof shelving units for an Aquatics Science classroom, and a mock-ambulance for EMT students. Malchar and the Cain Tank students are hoping to expand their reach outside of Klein Cain’s walls and eventually offer services to the community.
While Cain Tank keeps students engaged inside and outside the classroom, its main benefit is that it gives students real-life experience and a taste of what it would be like to work for an engineering design firm. Students learn what it means to be in charge of procurement, be a project manager, or even a safety and quality manager. While everyone is in charge of the overall build and design process, students have specific responsibilities and learn how to work together and make an efficient team.
When he first envisioned Cain Tank Malchar had two goals: that students get “real-world” engineering firm experience and for students to determine if they want to continue on this career pathway and have an idea of what they want to do upon exiting his classroom.
Want to see more from Cain Tank? See what projects they’re currently working on here.
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