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Teens get opportunity to design, build product

Thursday, April 8, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Business writer

SPRINGFIELD - A dozen 13- and 14-year-old technology students from Agawam and Springfield will design and build a product this summer during a high-tech summer camp at Springfield Technical Community College.

"With a lot of guidance, of course," said Adrienne Y. Smith, dean of the school of engineering technologies at the community college.

The college received a $4,000 grant from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, an educational foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International. The camp will be called "Manufacturing Your Future."

But Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs reports that a majority of teens, 52 percent, have little or no interest in a manufacturing career according a national survey.

"What they are really striving to do is inform the general public that manufacturing is changed," Smith said. "We are talking high-tech facilities doing amazing things."

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs has a new partner in its camps, the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship, a national organization that was founded at Springfield Technical Community College.

"You not just doing a camp that's nice for kids, but you are giving them a thought process to use it in their daily life," said Heather M. Van Sickle, executive director of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

Actor John Ratzenberger, best known as "Cliff" on the show "Cheers," helped found Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs after hosting "Made in America" for the Travel Channel in which he visited various factories. Ratzenberger will be in Springfield on May 11 for an event promoting the program, Van Sickle said.

The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship is helping coordinate camps at 18 member colleges, including STCC and Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester.

Read more about Springfield Technical Community College's camp here

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