Students at a local high school are not only making a new fashion statement, they're using innovative technology to help improve the environment. Mason Marshburn a senior at Chico High School says, "it feels pretty cool that I help make an actual product thats being sold." Students in Chico High Schools ROP engineering class work with many local companies to help produce products. One of those companies is Woodzee sunglasses.
Luke Winter, co-owner of Woodzee Inc.says, "we come here once a week. I like working with the kids. I like to see where they start and how they grow and blossom." Woodzee makes sunglasses out of biodegradable resources. They hope their product will help make a difference in saving the environment. Winter also says, "our goal with wood is it'll go back into the earth quicker. Our prescription line, which Tom is wearing, has a plant based acetate so it'll biodegrade much faster."
Woodzee has teamed up with ROP engineering students to create prototypes for the different styles of glasses. Teacher Mike Bruggeman says this is a great opportunity for his students to gain real experience. He also says, "the opportunity to work with business partners and be able to do real world projects has escalated and made the competition and the interest develop far more than anything else I've ever done."
Students take measurements of the glasses and design them with computer programs. From there, they use high tech 3-D printers make their designs a reality. "When we convert the file and send it to the printer, instead of printing a layer of ink it prints a layer of plastic and as it prints, the product builds," said Bruggeman.
As project manager Mason Marshburn has been leading a team of students with the Woodzee designs. He knows the hands on experience from the course is going to help him further his education and can't wait to get started. "It's giving me a huge head start into college. I'm getting experience with multiple companies and then experiencing these programs is something that most kids don't get," said Marshburn.
Since the students can't make a profit, the businesses they are partnered with are developing a scholarship program to help the students further their education. If your interested in picking up a pair of these glasses we provided a link on our website.