South Korean students learn at local companies

  PSU
  Thursday, July 5, 2018 2:00 PM
  Academics, News, Science and Technology

Pittsburg, KS

Korean students at Pitsco

This year, Pittsburg-based Pitsco Education will serve 3.5 million K-12 students in 70 countries, including South Korea, with unique curriculum, products, and materials designed for hands-on learning. 

This summer, that hands-on learning has been expanded to include a group of university students from South Korea right here in Pittsburg, Kansas, as well. The group, from Gyeongsang National University, arrived Monday for a month-long American internship/cooperative experience program in cooperation with Pittsburg State's College of Technology. 

It's the fourth year for the program, funded by a grant provided by the South Korean government, said Norman Philipp, the PSU instructor who is facilitating the program with help from PSU's Intensive English Program.  

Each week for one month the Korean students will partner with one of four companies in the Four State Area to help find solutions for actual managerial/engineering/production challenges. 

First up: Pitsco. The global company writes curriculum and designs materials for elementary and middle level science, technology, engineering, and math lessons that are shipped to and assembled at schools across the world. The challenge: to add efficiency to the pre-packing process of those items. 

After a tour of the extensive facility on Tuesday that included a look at Pitsco's Research & Design department, the group got busy in PSU's College of Technology. 

“When students are empowered to brainstorm solutions to challenges, it’s amazing to hear the ideas they toss out. That’s why we were excited to have this group of Korean students on the Pitsco campus,” said Pitsco Operations Manager Scott Rutledge. “We want to ensure that our prepacking of STEM curriculum materials is as efficient as possible, so the more ideas we get on the board – especially those from creative minds outside of our company – the better chance we have of achieving our goals for improving shipping and installation procedures.” 

At week's end, the students will return to Pitsco to pitch their ideas in written and oral reports to representatives from the company. 

In coming weeks, they'll be touring and taking on challenges at other area companies and one further afield: Collins Bus Corporation in Hutchison, Kansas.

"It is very different here, to see the working conditions and how a company operates," said student Sohyeon Baek. "I am learning a lot and am very happy to be here." 

Student Seon Yong Kim said people in Pittsburg have been "very friendly and welcoming." 

South Korean faculty leader Kim Jae-Wook said he hopes the program continues in future years. 

"It's important to study the act of solving problems," he said. "Communicating, working together, teamwork and strategies. It is very helpful for them to do this." 

This is the second group of students from South Korea to be on campus this summer; Kelce College of Business and PSU Intensive English also hosted a group of 40 from SeoulTech for a 12-day program that wraps up at the end of the week and included cultural activities as well as immersive learning. 

This is the second group of students from South Korea to be on campus this summer; Kelce College of Business and PSU Intensive English also hosted a group of 40 from SeoulTech for a 12-day program that wraps up at the end of the week and included cultural activities as well as immersive learning.  

 Learn more about the College of Technology at https://www.pittstate.edu/technology/index.html


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