More than 50 students from Michigan City High attended the “Smart Force Student Summit” during the International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago on September 10 and 12.
The students, who are enrolled in the MCHS Freshman Academy or Project Lead the Way Engineering courses, attended special sessions and toured exhibits by more than 1,900 companies.
LaPorte County Career and Technical Education Director Audra Peterson, who accompanied students on the trip, said it was an eye opener for many. “The students were amazed to learn about the developments in manufacturing technology,” she said. “Many of them came back excited about the idea of manufacturing as a future career path.”
Funding for the trip was provided courtesy of the Michigan City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City.
“My students met an astronaut, watched an electric car being built on the showroom floor, and even saw a quarter-scale working model of the Mars Curiosity Rover,” said Engineering teacher Ralph Gee. “We truly appreciate the support of the Chamber and EDC in funding this opportunity.”
Project Lead the Way Engineering classes are now offered at several Michigan City Area Schools, including Lake Hills Elementary, Barker Middle School, Michigan City High School, and the Energy Academy at A. K. Smith.
Coursework and certifications in Advanced Manufacturing Technology are offered at the A. K. Smith Center through LaPorte County CTE program. The program, developed in consultation with regional business and industry, gives students high-tech lab experiences involving computerized and engine lathes, milling and drilling machines, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines, and robots. Dual credits are offered through Ivy Tech and Vincennes.
More information about both Manufacturing and the Energy Academy can be obtained at the A.K.Smith Center’s Open House on November 5 from 5-7pm, by visiting EducateMC.net/careertech, or by calling (219) 873-2120.