Full Steam ahead at Harmony!
Celebrating Our STEAM Unit At Harmony
Harmony Kids Learning Center is our progressive child care center located directly to the North of Harmony Enterprises’ main production facility in Harmony, MN.
Throughout their year, each classroom engages in cross-curriculum learning units. On several occasions, Harmony Enterprises is asked to assist the Learning Center in the planning and presentation of fun and informational learning topics.
- Science: One of the most popular units involving collaboration between Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids Learning Center is STEAM week.
- Technology: According to Education Closet, “STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering: Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.
- Arts: The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.
- Mathematics: These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!”
Innovation is at the Heart of Who We Are
This year, VP of Operations, Ramon Hernandez, had the innovative idea to combine two of these STEAM units into one comprehensive learning experience for the children; Engineering and the Arts.
We wanted a way to show the children how we manufacture steel into quality balers and compactors, as well as give them something tangible that they could see, touch, and eventually play music on, using a similar manufacturing process.
To do this, Harmony’s Engineering Department designed a custom metallophone to be used in each classroom at the learning center. Our production team used our plasma table to cut the intricate designs into steel. Our fabricators bent and shaped the steel and our welders secured the joints in place. Our talented machinists drilled holes for the keys and hand-crafted threaded mallets for the students to use to strike the instruments. Finally, the metallophones were painted and assembled and tested for safety and proper use.
This entire manufacturing process is not too different from the process we use to make our quality balers and compactors, just on a much simpler and smaller scale.
This past Thursday, June 27th, students and teachers from HKLC came to Harmony Enterprises to tour the facility to learn what we do and how our equipment is manufactured. They learned what was done in each step of the manufacturing process, from bringing in and storing the sheets of steel, to design, parts/inventory, fabrication, welding, panel build, paint, assembly, and shipping.
The students got the chance to interact with employees in each manufacturing department and see first hand the machines and skills needed to perform their own jobs in their step of the process.
They were then able to compare their tour experience with how their metallophones were made.
Music to Our Ears
A week after their tour of Harmony Enterprises, the students received their metallophones and took part in a music unit, representing the Arts part of the STEAM unit.
New Business Development Manager, Lane Powell visited each classroom and gave a presentation on “low and high” and “soft and loud” pitches, and how different daily things in life make these types of sounds and frequencies.
The kids learned how their metallophones are visual and aural examples of low to high, and how the size, thickness, and resistance on the keys makes a difference in the pitch of each key.
Mr. Powell demonstrated proper playing technique and taught the students and teachers a few simple songs on their metallophones. The students were also tasked with making up a song of their own to share with their class at the end of the week, inspiring creativity and applying the lessons of “low and high” notes into practical use.
One of the many benefits afforded to Harmony Enterprises’ employees is the opportunity to enroll their children at Harmony Kids Learning Center at a discounted rate. More importantly, Harmony employees have the opportunity to interact with their children while on breaks or at lunch on a daily basis.
On special occasions, like today’s tour, children get the opportunity to see their parents in their work environment. They take pride in the quality work their parents do, as well as understand the career opportunities and advancement made possible by Harmony Enterprises.
We were able to witness several special moments of both children and parents seeing each other during the tour. The joy and comfort of being able to spend a brief moment together was heart-warming.
Harmony Enterprises’ Core Purpose is Career, Community, and Culture. You will find this hashtag on many of our social media posts. It’s more than just a catch phrase. We live this purpose in all that we do, including our relationship with the Harmony Kids Learning Center, and our entire community.