Area High School Students Visit Campus for National
As part of its ongoing mission to educate and inspire the next generation of technology leaders, Rensselaer hosted local high school students for a morning and afternoon of activities to celebrate national Manufacturing Day.
More than 100 students from Capital Region high schools visited campus Oct. 5 for manufacturing-related activities and workshops. The School of Engineering partnered with Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) to host Manufacturing Day, in collaboration with the Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing of the Capital Region (CEN) and Center for Economic Growth (CEG), as well as Haas-HFO Allendale Machinery, the Rensselaer and Capital Region chapters of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Ecovative Design, and the Empire State Development Division for Science, Technology, and Innovation.
Participating high schools included Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Berlin, Troy, Cohoes, and Albany. A leader from Ecovative Design, founded by Rensselaer graduates, delivered the keynote address.
“Advanced manufacturing is essential for reinvigorating American innovation and for creating high-paying jobs across all technology sectors—around the country and right here at home in the Capital Region,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering. “Manufacturing Day is a powerful tool to excite young people about manufacturing, to challenge them to think critically about it, and to inspire them to study and pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and math.”
“HVCC is pleased to be co-hosting the national Manufacturing Day celebration with Rensselaer,” said David Larkin, program organizer and HVCC professor of automotive, manufacturing, and electrical engineering technologies. “This program showcases the highly skilled and interdependent technician and engineering careers within advanced manufacturing. Our hope is that national Manufacturing Day will help generate interest in careers in advanced manufacturing for grammar school and secondary students, in order to build a pipeline of students with the necessary skill sets required by manufacturers within our region and in order for these students to eventually obtain high-paying technical jobs.”
Manufacturing Day activities at Rensselaer ranged from learning how a fuel cell works and interacting with the university’s full-scale Motoman industrial robot, to a Lego-based demonstration of additive manufacturing and donning a “bunny suit” for a tour of the clean room facilities. Participating labs and centers included the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems, the Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab, and the Micro- and NanoFabrication Clean Room, which is operated by the Center for Integrated Electronics.
Nationally, Manufacturing Day is organized by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Manufacturing Institute. The program aims to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs available in manufacturing fields.