FRONTENAC — Frontenac High School students would have made Henry Ford proud Thursday, forming an assembly line as part of their technology class.

The FHS technology students served as the workforce for a Pittsburg State University College of Technology project. PSU Students in a manufacturing enterprise class spent the semester building a company and product — and Thursday, saw it come to life.

“They form the company, design the product, do all the marketing and employ a workforce — in this case the high schoolers,” PSU Professor of Technology and Engineering Education Dr. Andy Klenke said. “And most of these students will also be technology teachers, so they gain experience working with students, and hopefully will take this project to their own classrooms.”

In fact, FHS Technology Teacher Keith Akin and his fellow Technology Teacher Eric Gudde went through Klenke’s class and a similar project during their time at PSU. Now the two teach side by side at FHS. Akin’s class served as the workforce for Thursday’s assembly line.

The students created a picnic caddie — PSU themed — which holds salt, pepper, ketchup and more. It also included a bottle opener and could clamp to the side of a table.

PSU students manufactured all of the pieces, jigs and patterns needed to put the caddies together, and the FHS students were each assigned one task as the caddie moved down the line.

“The high school students will all get to take one home at the end, as their pay for being the workforce,” Klenke said. “The rest will be sold. One of the main things for my students to learn is that with a manufacturing project, you have to at least break even.”

Klenke said much of the class focuses on the product, but making the jigs and patterns is also beneficial to the PSU students.

“Safety is a big deal in manufacturing,” he said. “And for this project, they have to create jigs that are safe and simple enough for a ninth grader to use.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.