If experience is the best teacher, then students in the engineering program at C4 Columbus Area Career Connection got the ultimate lesson when they visited Faurecia’s Research and Development Center on Oct. 27.

Not only did they tour the plant, but when the students visited Faurecia as part of a Manufacturing Day celebration, they participated in a mock product creation process.

The assignment seemed simple enough for manufacturing and engineering students — create a small toy boat.

However, when it came time to put their knowledge into practice, the students found that being an engineer in the field is much more difficult than in the classroom.

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“The first time we did it, it was a complete train wreck,” C4 senior Cheyenne Doles said. “There was a complete lack of communication and no organization.”

With a little help from real Faurecia employees, the students were able to regroup and create successful products the second time around.

And after touring the plant and seeing the various mufflers and other automobile accessories the company creates, the C4 engineers said their eyes were opened to all of the career possibilities they can pursue with a manufacturing or engineering degree.

“It shows that there’s a lot more than just engines in the manufacturing industry,” said senior Brice McDaniel.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.