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Welding Student’s Project Benefits Fitness Students

Matthew C. Kline, a welding engineering technology student from Whitehall, with the weight racks he designed and fabricated for the fitness laboratory at Pennsylvania College of Technology.A welding student at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently completed a senior project that will benefit students in another Penn College department.

Matthew C. Kline, a welding and fabrication engineering technology student from Whitehall, produced new weight racks for the training rooms used by students majoring in physical fitness specialist and by students taking other fitness classes.

The weights and weight rack that had been in use for decades in the college’s Bardo Gym weight-training facilities were due for replacement. The design of the old racks on which the dumbbells’ handles balanced on a framework of two rails with their weighted ends hanging over each side led to pinched fingers and falling weights.

The new racks feature solid trays to hold the weights securely in place.

While the physical fitness specialist program is preparing to order new dumbbells, new weight racks added a significant cost to the order. The situation led Judy Quinti, assistant professor of fitness and lifetime sports/physical fitness, to contact the college’s welding faculty. Dave Cotner, instructor of welding, paired her with Kline, who was looking for a senior project.

Capstone projects are a graduation requirement of the college’s engineering technology bachelor-degree majors.

Kline spent the fall semester planning, designing and pricing the racks and spent the spring semester fabricating them. Among his engineering tasks, he determined the appropriate materials and design to hold the weight of the dumbbells. He used paint designed for truck-bed liners to keep the weights from slipping.

He also made a rack for kettle bells, to be used in a group-training room.

The project is a significant improvement in the fitness facilities, saved money and provided Kline with a hands-on project.

“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Quinti said when Kline delivered the racks to Bardo Gym.

Kline plans to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree.

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