PCA’s full-line plant in Morganton, North Carolina, is a proud supporter of educational programs at local schools in the area.
PCA Morganton’s now-retired General Manager, Rich DeAugustinis, began the plant’s relationship with educator Clay Nelson at the annual Historic Morganton Festival. At the festival, Clay was working with students at a booth displaying the chairs they built from corrugated sheets for a competition called MADE: Morganton Art Design & Engineering. Rich DeAugustinis mentioned that the corrugated trash bins placed on the street for the festival were a PCA donation, and he offered to donate material for Clay’s future school projects.
Clay took PCA up on its offer and requested materials for “Project Lead the Way,” a robotics program that was launched while he was teaching at Liberty Middle School in Morganton and that later expanded to Patton High School, where he currently teaches. The program encompasses three engineering courses, but the “Principles of Engineering” class uses the largest amount of corrugated. According to Clay, “All projects are created to solidify student’s engineering knowledge, with one recent project being to design and build a solar car.”
Clay noted that corrugated is the preferred material for engineering projects because it is perfect for making prototypes, which is an integral part of the program. It is sturdy, strong and durable, yet still lightweight and easy to work with.
An additional program that is offered for the students is an annual engineering camp, but this summer, because of the pandemic, it was held virtually. The teachers sent kids home with supplies, including PCA corrugated, so they would have solid materials with which to work.
PCA Morganton is pleased to partner with local schools and continues to donate to the cause whenever Patton gets low on its supply of corrugated.