19Jul Rockets and Robots: Hands-on Fun at Manufacturing Camp by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) Sixteen local middle school students from around central Ohio spent a week at Manufacturing Camp to learn about local industry, in-demand jobs and to have fun with science, engineering, technology and math (STEM). From shooting off rockets to building circuits and flashlights, the kids had a ton of hands-on activities as well as tours. At Whirlpool, the students saw how 17,000 dryers are built every day in Marion. The students made an assembly line for paper airplanes and learned how a line will go down if one person gets behind. Find a video of their trip here. With a trip to RobotWorx, students learned about the robots they design and create for clients including Amazon. The students were able to run the robots. CAD designer and MTC alumna Jodi Bennett of Delaware was excited to see so many girls at the camp and show them how to design robots. Jodi Bennett, center, demonstrates CAD with a student at RobotWorx. “It was awesome! I was excited to see a bunch of girls in this group. I didn’t have a lot of girls in my engineering classes,” Bennett said. “It gets better and better. I would help girls interested in engineering any step of the way.” MTC student Eli Rollins of Marion also works at RobotWorx and showed the students about programming the robots. “This place is awesome. They let me leave here and go to class and come back. I am lucky this is in Marion.” Eli shows a student how to operate a robot. As RobotWorx is an international company, it opens doors for workers to go to many parts of the United States and around the world for their careers. “I could definitely see myself working here!” one of the students exclaimed at the end of the visit. “RobotWorx was really friendly,” Juliet said. Students also built small windmills at the Marion Public Library. At Wyandot, they taste-tested new snacks, which was a huge hit, as you can see from this video. “It was super-fun having the kids some over and see what we do,” said Mike Shonk, Senior Software Engineer with Wyandot. At RAMTEC, students were able to operate robots. While back at MTC, Dr. Eve Fabrizio, MTC’s Director of Engineering Technology, helped students use math to figure the height of the clock tower on the Marion Campus. They also showed how heat transfers using ice cream. Dr. Bob Haas helped the students shoot off a rocket. At the close of the camp, Ellen Short, Central Ohio Representative for Senator Sherrod Brown, presented each student with a certificate. Senator Brown is pushing for manufacturing camps in every Ohio county to help students get interested in some of the 2 million jobs estimated to go unfilled due to a skills gap. “I liked the whole camp,” Lilly Wilson said. “When I grow up, I want to program robots.” Students learned that jobs supporting local manufacturing included a wide range of skills, including communications, engineering, finance, logistics and programming. They also learned about educational options and the best way to get the skills they need. “My favorite part was the circuits,” Patrick Wilson shared. Students came from many schools, including Delaware, Highland, Marion, Pleasant, River Valley, North Union and a home schooled student. The students ranged in age from 10 to 13. Thanks to our participants! • Ashton Brooks • Ainsley Butler • Reece Cobb • Caden Cusimano • Aidan Fisher • Stephanie Foos • Zach Howald • Matthew Miller • Michael Miller • Josiah Reed • Samantha Schmelzer • Julie Temple • Mary Temple • Benjamin Wilson • Lilly Wilson • Patrick Wilson The camp would not be possible without the support of CAN DO!, Marion Made!, the Marion Public Library, River Valley Local Schools, RobotWorx, Whirlpool, Wyandot, and many others.