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PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo Summer 2006 - VOLUME 15, NUMBER 9
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TOUR DE FACTORY - Taking a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made is a natural for engineers. Here are five plants that welcome visitors. - 1. Banana Split ice cream being filled into a carton at Blue Bell Creameries - 2. Powertrain operations at the Harley-Davidson factory - 3. Corvettes coming off the final line at the factory in Bowling Green, Ky. - 4. Chocolate in the works at the Scharffen Berger factory


Can there be anything better than sinfully delicious dark chocolate just off the production line? Find out for yourself if you’re going to be in the San Francisco area. The Scharffen Berger Chocolate factory will show you just how the delicious confection is made. You will marvel at the many precise steps—and sophisticated machinery—that transform the cacao beans into the almost magical food we know as chocolate. Factory tours are fun and educational, and they’re a great way to take a break during a long car trip. Perhaps watching one of America’s coolest sports cars being built at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Ky., is more your speed. You can witness the engineering marvel of the chassis and body coming together and see the thrilling drive off the end of the line. We’ve come up with five factory tours scattered around the nation that should appeal to any engineer.


TOUR DE FACTORY - Taking a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made is a natural for engineers. Here are five plants that welcome visitors. - 1. Banana Split ice cream being filled into a carton at Blue Bell Creameries - 2. Powertrain operations at the Harley-Davidson factory - 3. Corvettes coming off the final line at the factory in Bowling Green, Ky. - 4. Chocolate in the works at the Scharffen Berger factory

1. Blue Bell Creameries

“We eat all we can, and we sell the rest” is what Blue Bell says about its ice cream—take a tour, see how they make it and eat some for yourself before it heads out the door!

Weekday tours. Admission varies from $3 to free and includes a serving of Blue Bell ice cream. (800) 327-8135. Three tour locations: Brenham, TX; Broken Arrow, OK.; Sylacauga, AL.
http://www.bluebell.com/about_visting.htm.


TOUR DE FACTORY - Taking a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made is a natural for engineers. Here are five plants that welcome visitors. - 1. Banana Split ice cream being filled into a carton at Blue Bell Creameries - 2. Powertrain operations at the Harley-Davidson factory - 3. Corvettes coming off the final line at the factory in Bowling Green, Ky. - 4. Chocolate in the works at the Scharffen Berger factory

2. Harley-Davidson

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to bring the legend of a Harley-Davidson to life, the company has opened the doors to three manufacturing facilities to give you an inside look.

Free weekday tours. Children under 12 are welcome in the tour center but are not allowed on the factory tours. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. (877) 883-1450. Three tour locations: Wauwatosa, WI; York, PA; Kansas City, MO.
http://www.harleydavidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/
Factory_Tours/factory_tours.jsp?locale=en_US
.


TOUR DE FACTORY - Taking a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made is a natural for engineers. Here are five plants that welcome visitors. - 1. Banana Split ice cream being filled into a carton at Blue Bell Creameries - 2. Powertrain operations at the Harley-Davidson factory - 3. Corvettes coming off the final line at the factory in Bowling Green, Ky. - 4. Chocolate in the works at the Scharffen Berger factory

3. Corvette Assembly Plant

See first-hand how one of America’s favorite sports cars, the Chevrolet Corvette, is born and made ready for the road. You can also visit the National Corvette Museum, located across from the plant.

Weekday tours. $5 per person. Children ages 7 and older. (270) 745-8019. 600 Corvette Dr., Bowling Green, KY 42101.
http://www.bowlinggreenassemblyplant.com/sch_tour.html.


TOUR DE FACTORY - Taking a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made is a natural for engineers. Here are five plants that welcome visitors. - 1. Banana Split ice cream being filled into a carton at Blue Bell Creameries - 2. Powertrain operations at the Harley-Davidson factory - 3. Corvettes coming off the final line at the factory in Bowling Green, Ky. - 4. Chocolate in the works at the Scharffen Berger factory

4. Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker

Take a sneak peek into the journey from cacao beans to the delectable finished product.

Free daily tours. Children ages 10 and older. Reservations required. (510) 981-4050. 914 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, CA 94710.
http://www.scharffenberger.com/factory.asp.


TOUR DE FACTORY - Taking a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made is a natural for engineers. Here are five plants that welcome visitors. - 1. Banana Split ice cream being filled into a carton at Blue Bell Creameries - 2. Powertrain operations at the Harley-Davidson factory - 3. Corvettes coming off the final line at the factory in Bowling Green, Ky. - 4. Chocolate in the works at the Scharffen Berger factory

5. Herr’s Foods

How do pretzels get their brown color? What makes a great chipping potato? Find out—and eat some of the answers—on this factory tour.
Free weekday tours. (800) 63-SNACK. 20 Herr Dr.,
Nottingham, PA 19362.
http://www.herrs.com/SnackFactoryTours.html.

Nancy Shute is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.


 

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MAY I HELP YOU? - By Jeffrey Selingo
FERTILE NEW GROUND - Thomas K. Grose
FEAST OR FAMINE? - By Thomas K. Grose
TOUR DE FACTORY - A behind-the-scenes look at some of the nation’s most interesting factories.
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