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Adams City students help brew up new ideas, designs

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By The Staff

COMMERCE CITY — A partnership between Adams City High School and Metropolitan State University of Denver is giving Commerce City students a chance to brew up some patentable ideas when it comes to coffee.

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About 25 students in an advanced program for manufacturing at ACHS and two teachers — Phil Castillo and Adam Nelson — have been joining with design students at MSU Denver to design and produce new ways of brewing coffee in conjunction with Smartco International, a Hong Kong-based company 

According to Adams City High Assistant Principal Ryan Thompson, the students have made three trips to design students at the MSU Denver campus to work alongside college students in designing and creating new types of hot and cold brewing processes — with the promise of the best overall design being rewarded with an internship for the students behind it.

“They’re applying what they’re learning in classes ... They’re seeing a real-life application,’ Thompson said of the work done through the partnership.

Michael Caston, assistant professor of industrial design at MSU Denver, said this is the first time his courses have brought high school students to campus, and that he hopes to do more collaborative projects such as this with Adams City High School in the future.

“I believe that one of the best ways to learn is by teaching others.  One of the biggest benefits MSU Denver’s Industrial Design students receive by partnering with the high school students is the opportunity to mentor these students in the design process, showing them the steps a design project goes through:  research, brainstorming, ideation, sketch models, prototyping, evaluation, and iteration,” Caston said. “By leading the high school students, my students better understand the process themselves and are more engaged in the project.  Industrial Design is not an industry that a typical high school students gets exposure too.  My students have told me that they wish they had this opportunity when they were in high school; they would have chosen their direction a lot earlier.”