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Press Release



May 12, 2005

Applied Economics, Industrial Materials classes assemble bikes for needy children


For some elementary school students in Arkansas City and Mulvane, Christmas arrived about seven months early.

Students in Brett Butler's Applied Economics and Industrial Materials classes pose with bicycles they assembled for students in Mulvane. Front row, from left: Garreth McNelly, Jake Allen, Michael McClaskey, Justin Allen, and Nick Baumgartner. Back row, from left: Cowley Instructor Brett Butler, Christian Shuck, Justin Duffey, Amery Hockenberry, Israel Swaggart, Mark Wiseman, Jerrod Bohannon, John Humbolt, Samantha Anderson, and Mulvane Intermediate School Principal Tony Reddick.

Eighteen students—10 boys and eight girls—received 20-inch Huffy bicycles assembled by students in Applied Economics and Industrial Materials classes at Cowley College. The project, initiated by Cowley Automotive Technology Instructor Ricky Young, not only supplied a bicycle to some needy boys and girls in time for summer, it also provided the college students with a worthwhile project.

Cowley College Industrial Technology students pose with bicycles they helped assemble for Arkansas City elementary school students. Front row, from left: Tracy Howe, Josh Jacobs, Brad Hasselbring, and Darin Jones. Back row, from left: Jack Additon, instructor Pauline Case, Dan Brooks, Patrick King, instructor Ricky Young, and Trent Rhea.

“It was part of the entrepreneurship unit in the class,” Young said. “It’s all about product management, how the students market their product, how they work together and more.”

Wal-Mart donated two of the bikes, and Young’s Automotive Technology program paid for the other 16 bikes. Thirteen bicycles were delivered to students in the five elementary schools in Arkansas City. The other five went to fifth- and sixth-grade students at Mulvane Intermediate School.


Students in Pauline Case's Applied Economics class at Cowley College make quick work of assembling one of the 20-inch Huffy bicycles.

Students in classes taught by Cowley instructors Pauline Case and Brett Butler assembled the bicycles. The classes were split into teams charged with assembling the bikes, which helped them develop teamwork skills.

Case, who taught the class this spring in Arkansas City, said students were exposed to the concept of supply and demand as well as marketing a product.

“The entrepreneurship section deals with supply and demand, the fundamental rules of business, entrepreneurship and marketing,” Case said. “The students also presented a business plan.

“We’ll have them fill out an evaluation on it. We wanted the students to think outside the box in terms of their creativity with marketing the bikes and presenting a business plan.”

Butler had 16 students in his class at the Mulvane Industrial Technology Center. He divided the class into four teams and had them work together on the bike project.

“Not all of the students were there on assembly days, so it showed the rest of the class what happens when a person misses work,” Butler said. “The groups with students missing took a lot longer to get their bikes put together.”

Butler said the project also taught students how an assembly line works, inventory control, and how to work with peers.

The project also emphasized quality control as the groups assembled their bikes.