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Manufacturing Camp Returns to Noble County in October

Sep 13, 2023

A constellation of local and regional organizations is collaborating to bring a free, unique, hands-on learning experience for students Grades 6 through 8 to the iSMART Lab at the Community Learning Center in Kendallville.

Manufacturing Experience 2023 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 28. Space is limited to the first 36 kids registered.

More than two dozen middle school-aged students from greater Noble County participated in the inaugural Manufacturing Experience last October. The free day camp will return this year to the Community Learning Center on October 28.

Manufacturing Experience 2023 will feature technology demonstrations, including a drone, competition robot, and industrial robot, plus hands-on learning experiences for middle school-aged learners. A Smart Factory Mechatronics lab will engage kids who like to explore how things work through a live demonstration of fundamental components found in many of today’s manufacturing environments. Experts will also be on hand to help provide insight into some of the many career pathways available in Noble County and the region, highlighting high-paying jobs that are, and will continue to be, in high demand.

In addition to demonstrations, campers will be led by iSMART Lab instructors awarded Gold Certification from the Smart Automation Certification Alliance. Kids will learn, hands-on, how to solder, wire an AC/DC circuit, and program a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Participants will also take home free resources to support continued learning at home.

“My boys absolutely loved it and have not stopped talking about it!” said the parent of a Manufacturing Experience 2022 participant.

Manufacturing Experience is one component of a manufacturing awareness campaign (www.beginswith.me) spearheaded by Northeast Indiana Works. The campaign aims to help change misperceptions about what it is like to work in manufacturing today. Dozens of Noble County manufacturers have embraced new technologies that have created jobs that are less physically demanding, more appealing, and offer higher wages and a better quality of life.

“The iSMART Lab has become an important resource in developing the skills needed by not only our local industrial employers, but in all kinds of occupations,” said Lori Gagen of Be Noble Inc., one of the collaborators planning the camp. “Any kid who is a gamer and loves technology, or just likes to tear things apart to see how they work, is going to love this camp.”

Manufacturing Experience is a collaboration of Northeast Indiana Works, Be Noble Inc., Freedom Academy, Impact Institute, and the iSMART Lab at the Community Learning Center. Funding has been provided by the Don Wood Foundation and Bosch Community Fund.

The camp is free and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and beverages. Parents are invited to join their child or children for breakfast and the first 30 minutes of the camp to learn more about the ongoing opportunities available locally for kids to continue learning skills that will support future careers.

More information and a link to register is found at www.worknoble.org/manufacturing-experience. Questions may be directed to Be Noble Inc. at (260) 636-3800.