Students Awed by Technology & Career Opportunities

From: Terry T. Wohlers (
Date: Tue Sep 10 2002 - 18:34:53 EEST

Hello everyone,

I found the following press release stimulating. Why don't more design and
manufacturing shows and exhibitions put out the welcome mat for students? I
understand clearly that in the short term, they are not the buyers, but in
a short few years, they ARE the buyers. A 14-year old in 1990 is now a
26-year old working for an organization that might be considering your
products and services.

I recall attending a large exhibition in St. Louis as a junior in college
and the impact that it had on me continues to influence my thinking. I
encourage all of the conference and exhibition planners to involve our
youth in their events. These people are also future exhibitors and
conference attendees.

Another thought: I see a tremendous amount of energy and excitement among
those who are currently enrolled in school. Rarely does a day go by that I
don't receive an e-mail from a student. These young people are probing
deeply into how they might contribute or somehow get involved in RP or
related areas. We need to harness this energy and put it to work for their
benefit and the benefit of the industry.

Your thoughts?


Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.
OakRidge Business Park
1511 River Oak Drive
Fort Collins, Colorado 80525 USA
Fax 970-225-2027

Students Awed by Technology & Career Opportunities At IMTS 2002

    CHICAGO, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- From junior high schools, middle
and colleges across Chicago, Illinois, and the United States, students and
teachers arrive in groups of as many as a hundred or more. They leave in
of what they have seen and experienced.
    (Photo: )
    From the spacious Student Union at the International Manufacturing
Technology Show (IMTS 2002), they entered the cavernous halls and three
buildings of McCormick Place. Nine pavilions house distinct categories of
technology employed in manufacturing. In small groups they discover
manufacturing processes, systems, and technology that they might never see
their classroom or hometown.
    Exhibitors designated as "student-friendly" welcome teachers and
They eagerly embrace the opportunity to showcase their industry and
technology, and to explain to students the well-paying, rewarding, safe
opportunities in manufacturing.
    "Coming to the show makes people hungry to see what's really out
says Karl Gebert, University of Colorado student guide and retired U of C
Instrument Shop Supervisor.
    "There is technology at the show that has never been -- and may never
be -
- exposed to the public eye," Gebert notes, "water cutting metal like its
butter; lasers turning rolls of steel into intricate designs; highly
sophisticated machines run by computer numeric controls; robots gracefully
moving through synchronized manufacturing processes; fuselage made of
durable composite material for reduced construction costs. And that's just
    "I come back with a dozen new inventions, new to the market," Gebert
Many, if not most, of the technology showcased here is or will be used to
provide consumers with virtually every material item they use or rely upon
each and every day.
    Nichole Bozarth and Lyndsie Fugate, juniors in pre-calculus and physics
respectively at Midwest Central High School, Manito, Ill., found technology
IMTS that they never imagined existed. The CAD CAM, metal cutting and
exhibits fascinated them with their precision and accuracy.
    One CAD CAM exhibit especially caught their attention. "This woman was
a jumpsuit hooked to a computer," Fugate explains. "As she moves, the
says how much force she is using and what percent of the population could
that motion without strain."
    The highly acclaimed IMTS Student Summit has grown each year. Why?
Student Summit takes students way beyond what they can learn or experience
the classroom," explains Dave Horn, Student Summit Coordinator and
Improvement Director for AMT -- The Association For Manufacturing
"It takes them to a whole new level of understanding of today's technology
how high-tech is being applied to manufacturing processes, systems and
equipment to enable us to produce items faster, better and at lower cost."
    Teachers are encouraged to bring students from with a wide range of
backgrounds: from machine shop and applied arts to math, science, and
Why? Because retirement will rob the ranks of those employed in
technology during the next decade. Rewarding, challenging and well-paying
careers will exist for the taking.
    Six high school students from Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, North
Tennessee, and Utah have a different take on IMTS. They are competing for
right to represent the U.S. in the 2003 WorldSkills Competitions in St.
Gallen, Switzerland. Each student receives a blueprint and piece of stock
material. They must write the computer numeric control (CNC) program for
manufacturing the part and make the part in a given time. The competition
run by SkillsUSA-VICA, a national organization serving high school and
students and instructors who are enrolled in trace, technical and skilled
service instructional programs.
    Elsewhere students from the University of Michigan are introducing
edge technology on the exhibit floor. Their new concept, the
machine tool, enables system-level design rather than parts design. As
Legos, reconfigurable machine tool modules can be changed to manufacture
with different features.
    IMTS - The International Manufacturing Technology Show is the largest
marketplace for buyers of machine tools and related manufacturing
in the Americas. The eight-day show, held in even-numbered years at
McCormick Place, draws tens of thousands of attendees and exhibitors from
U.S. and some 40 nations. For more information about the show, visit where you can get the latest news and download IMTS
photos and logos.

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