AIS and Nashoba Celebrate Manufacturing Month


Ms. Grigas

NRHS students celebrate Manufacturing Month with AIS during a recent field trip.

On October 8, Nashoba Business and Tech Ed classes went on a field trip to Affordable Interior Systems Furniture Manufacturing Company (AIS) in Leominster, MA.  The purpose of the field trip was to expose students to real-world applications of their classes and to celebrate Manufacturing Month.

Nashoba’s relationship with AIS began when Mrs. Marotta (Instructional Technology Teacher & Department Chair for Business and Tech Ed) had seen AIS featured on a local television program and reached out to the company to explore a partnership with the high school. With AIS in mind, Ms. Foley and Ms. Grigas adopted the design thinking ideology and had students design a better classroom space to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of students.  AIS employees then attended the presentations of each of the students and judged their pitch. 

Ms. Grigas, a Business teacher at Nashoba stated, “[AIS] has been able to provide real world situations to our business kids which is a really big focus as a business teacher, you know, allowing students to be able to understand what opportunities in the future look like within the business world.”  In fact, last year, AIS offered an internship to DECA president, Kam Gilchrest. Kam was able to gain the experience that the internship offered before he went to college. 

Bruce Plazman, CEO, hopes that students get a feel for what a business is made up of.  He wants the teens to understand how the success of AIS stemmed primarily from the cohesive effort of all departments.  He also stressed that the success of AIS was from hard work, not laziness. He believes that real success comes from passion and perseverance, not luck.

Business students, Ben Myers, Jim Webster, Liam Olsen, Colin Burke, Paul Dean, Tyler Ojerholm, Amelia Pallotta, and Nate Maynard each won a $25 Visa gift card for giving a successful sales pitch about the ‘Natick Chair’ (an existing chair that AIS manufactures).  The gesture of the gift card carried more than a monetary value- representing the benefits and importance of successful sales pitches in the real-world.   

The Tech-Ed students also had an amazing day celebrating Manufacturing Month with AIS and spent time engineering a stool prior to their visit.  Junior, Kelan Montgomory, won the award for best stool design because his plan was practical and simple. Kellen is going to build his stool at Nashoba with the help of a few mentors from AIS. Mr. LeBlanc, woodshop teacher, believes that the students benefited from seeing modern manufacturing and learning from different engineers.  He thinks that going to AIS with the engineering students could become a yearly trip.