Brandywine cleans up at MITES state conventionPublished 5:24pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
Machining runs deep in the Fralick family.
Brandywine junior Mat Fralick’s grandfather, Mark, was a machinist. Mark’s father was a machinist.
Now, Mat is making headway as a machinist himself.
Mat’s steel hammer took first place in the single tool category at the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society (MITES) state convention at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant May 8-11.
“I was astonished because I didn’t think I was going to do that well,” said Mat, who was competing at MITES for the first time. “It gave me confidence in the work that I do, and I learned a few new things along the way.”
Brandywine/Lake Michigan College Manufacturing Academy students, like Mat, spent around four months fine-tuning their projects before the big competition. Entries must make it past regionals to get to state, where the best projects from around Michigan are judged.
Before Mat created the machinist hammer, he started with a design and several pieces of raw steel. He used the tools available at the school’s machine tool shop to create it all from scratch.
Mat said his hammer stood apart from others because he designed a detachable handle extension that screws into the hammer’s hollow shaft.
“I think that was the deciding vote for me to get first,” Mat said.
Manufacturing Academy instructor Chris Inman said his students performed really well as a whole at the state convention.
“This was probably our best year,” Inman said. “We have a good group of students that have been working really hard and they are really into it.”
MITES is the biggest machine tool competition of the year for students.
The competition is great for building machining skills, Inman said.
“They really test themselves with these projects. The stars, elephants and everything else — they try to be unique so they are working on design. They are working across the curriculum,” he said.
Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society (MITES)
Brandywine/Lake Michigan College Machine Academy
• Nathan Anders — 3rd for hammer, 7th for 1-2-3 blocks
• Ryan Casey — 2nd for elephant puzzle, 5th for house model
• Mathew Fralick — 1st for hammer, honorable mention for 1-2-3 blocks
• Trevor Kendall — 3rd for truck puzzle
• Charles Kuemin — 4th for elephant puzzle
• William Lewis — 7th for elephant puzzle
• Branden Marker — honorable mention for auger blades
• Dakota McDonald — 6th for barn model, 7th for shift knob
• Robert Sells — 2nd for tap holder, 5th for target
• Vincent Tomasino — 2nd for angle plates