Penn Manor has received a $21,154 state grant to purchase a plasma cutting table to be used by students in agricultural mechanics and welding classes.
The school district received the grant through the Ag Youth Grant Program of the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department, which distributed $500,000 statewide for ag-related projects and equipment. Penn Manor was the only grant recipient in Lancaster County.
The district plans to provide matching funds to purchase a Torchmate CNC Plasma Table to provide students with advanced skills used in the welding industry. The equipment will enable students to use a CAD program to design projects, create blueprints and program the plasma table to cut out intricate shapes and replacement parts for projects from metal.
The new equipment will be installed in the STEM wing in the agriculture shop of Penn Manor High School, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall.
Students will begin using the plasma table in Agricultural Mechanics, Welding I and Welding II classes in the 2021-2022 school year. About 150 students enroll in those classes each year.
The equipment also could be used by agricultural education students completing their supervised agricultural experiences as part of the curriculum.
“This dynamic piece of equipment can be used in many classes and will impact many students each year, providing them with 21st century skills,” said Meagan Slates, Penn Manor’s ag mechanics and welding instructor.