By Sue Moore
Students learning to make things in the Industrial Arts department in Vicksburg High School must look to the future in manufacturing. To test their skills, they may enter a statewide competition called MITES, named for its sponsoring organization, the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society.
Seventeen Vicksburg students came home from a regional competition with a pallet of first and second place ribbons for their work with wood, plastics, machine shop, metal work, and applied technologies. The ribbons meant that all qualified their designs to participate in the statewide contest held at Saginaw Valley State University last month.
At the state competition, Justin Gearig, and Jacob Dilly captured the highest honors with blue ribbons. Dallas Arnott, Dee Brennan, Sonny Evans, Brent Gilbert, Zach Glascock, and Westin Seifert were awarded red ribbons for second place. Richard Gillies with a dinosaur model took 3rd place. There were many hundreds of competitors at both events, making Greg Mills, Vicksburg’s Industrial Arts teacher, very proud.
For the final project of the school year, Mills is taking one of his classes to Indian Lake School to design a floor plan for its new projector system. It will be a hands-on experience with pictures and measurements taken that will actually be put to use by the faculty at Indian Lake. Next year, Mills has had to cap out his classes at 34 students from 28 this year as the demand has grown. To accommodate, he will add new computers and have aides to help out in the classroom.
Mills teaches Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classes in the principals of engineering, introduction to engineering design, and computerized manufacturing which he describes as a “machine shop on steroids,”
“Our kids did so well in this competition because they have been prepped by all the other teachers in the system to follow directions and ask good questions. These are great students to work with,” Mills said as he celebrates his first year of teaching in Vicksburg.
The following comments were received from some of the mentors from area manufacturers who have worked closely this year with Vicksburg students:
“Please pass along congratulations to all your participants on behalf of Humphrey Products. We’re pumped up to help you keep this momentum moving forward!” David Maurer.
“Fantastic News! You are transforming this program into a great opportunity for young men and women. Well Done!! My son really enjoys your class. Thank you for all you do!” Phil Ward, Director – Engineering, Stryker Corporation.
“Congratulations Greg, Just outstanding… Awesome!” Michael O. Brown, Sr. Machinist/Mfg. Specialist – Stryker Global Quality & Operations.