Nearly two dozen middle schoolers participated October 29 in Manufacturing Experience 2022, a day camp at the Community Learning Center in Kendallville designed to give young people a hands-on opportunity to explore facets of modern-day manufacturing.
The camp, which focused largely on skills related to autonomous systems, was a collaboration involving Northeast Indiana Works, Be Noble, Freedom Academy, the Impact Institute, iSMART Lab and the Don Wood Foundation.
It was part of a digitally based manufacturing career awareness campaign (www.beginswith.me) spearheaded by Northeast Indiana Works. Other similar camps are expected to be scheduled throughout northeast Indiana in 2023 and 2024.
The Kendallville camp drew middle school students from a number of northeast Indiana counties and featured demonstrations and hands-on activities related to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), electrical, circuitry and 3D printing. Students also competed in an AC/DC electrical system competition.
“Manufacturing is the largest-employing industry in northeast Indiana and it is imperative that we begin developing talent pipelines to the industry when students are relatively young,” said Rick Farrant, director of communications for Northeast Indiana Works. “This first camp was a great success and couldn’t have been made possible without the terrific planning and execution work of our Noble County partners.”
One parent whose sons attended the Noble County camp wrote this in an email to organizers: “Thank you for having this camp today! My boys absolutely loved it and have not stopped talking about it!”