Each year, the Center provides funding to and collaborates with colleges across the state to support youth outreach events. The goal of these events is to introduce youth to advanced manufacturing careers and dispel myths about what those jobs are like. For this funding cycle, the Center received eight applications for events throughout the state focused on introducing students to careers in manufacturing. These events are expected to reach over 2,000 students.
One such event that just ended was a VEX Robotics Summer Camp held at Northwest Technical College. The camp was designed to allow students to use critical thinking skills to complete a task and must build a robot using the kit provided to complete the task. All teams were given the exact same kit of materials, but could build any type of robot they want to complete the task. These critical thinking skills, as well as working as part of a team, are important in any team environment, but are especially important in manufacturing.
At the end of the week of camp all the teams competed against each other and tested their robot design and their driving skills. Each year the tournament objectives change but the skills they learn during the camp will serve the students well for years to come.