JOHNSTOWN — Fulton-Montgomery Community College students from general chemistry II and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program attended a tour of Townsend Leather in Johnstown on Oct. 26, according to a news release.
Chemistry instructor Laurie Lazinski and C-STEP Counselor Michelle Moore toured with the students.
“Students saw the process the leather goes through to be dyed, dried, softened, embossed and finished,” said Lazinski. “They were very interested in the entire process, asking several questions as we went through the facility. We were also able to see the quality control area which tests for strength, flammability and wear of the leather. Students witnessed a burn test to determine if the leather meets the aviation standard for flammability.”
Lazinski said the purpose of the trip was to show students the use of chemistry in a real-life job setting.
“We discussed the concepts of pH, intermolecular forces, polarity and many other chemistry topics in lecture and lab, but this was a unique look at how chemistry is used in manufacturing of products. Students saw that there is a lot of problem solving involved to dye the leather to the customer’s specifications,” she said. “We are very lucky to have a company so close to the college that was willing to open their doors to us. I see a possibility for some of our students to find employment in the wet division at Townsend Leather after successful completion of the general chemistry sequence and a two-year degree from FM.”