ASHEBORO (June 25, 2018)
Seventeen rising 8th and 9th graders and 20 middle and high school teachers learned about advanced manufacturing in the first AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Pathway) Camp last week, sponsored by Asheboro City Schools, Randolph Community College, and the Randolph County School System. The free AMP Camp was made possible through the Catalyzing Career and Technical Education grant, according to Stacey Miller, pathways activities coordinator for RCC.
TOP: Seventeen students and 20 teachers attended the first AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Pathway) Camp held June 18-21 at RCC, sponsored by Asheboro City Schools, Randolph Community College, and the Randolph County School System.
SECOND: Machining instructor Neal Johnson works with students Alice Schultz and Nicholas Engel in the RCC machining lab during AMP Camp.
THIRD: Student Calvin Smith tries out the virtual welder with the help of instructor Sam Wampler during the AMP Camp.
BOTTOM: Students Trish Edwards and Thalya Letterlough work on the robot puppy they built. They were members of the Electrical/Mechanical student team at the AMP Camp.
During the week of June 18-21, the students and teachers were given an overview and demonstration of the Computer-Integrated Machining, Electrical Systems/Mechatronics, and Welding Technology programs offered at RCC, visited area manufacturing industries, and created projects in RCC labs.
AMP Camp was designed to help students and teachers understand the careers available and the skills needed to be successful in those careers.
The students and teachers gave presentations about what they had learned during an assembly of campers on Thursday afternoon in the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center auditorium.
Miller opened the session saying that she had asked the campers to do three things during the week: 1) get out of their comfort zone; 2) be safe; and 3) have fun. All agreed by raised hands that they had “touched machines and tools they had never touched before” during the week, only a few band-aids were needed, and they had a lot of fun.
The campers were divided into six groups – a teacher group and a student group for three areas: Machining, Electrical/Mechatronics, and Welding. The welding groups squared off in a virtual welding competition in which student Kaden Shoptaw of Northeast Randolph Middle School and teacher Karla Phelps of Asheboro High School made it to the final round. A video was played of their final competition, with Shoptaw coming out on top with scores of 86 and 78 versus Phelps final scores of 69 and 62. The Welding group also studied soldering and had fun with welding chocolate sculptures.
In the Electrical/Mechanical groups, students created a working crane, built a mechanical puppy that barked and growled, and constructed a color sorter using LEGO Mindstorms robot kits.
The Machining groups learned to import custom images to engrave parts from metal using CNC machines and the waterjet machining center. They also made aluminum drink coasters for each member of the AMP Camp to take home.
Student Calvin Smith, who was in the Welding group, said he learned “There is a bunch of good money to be made in welding,” as each student was asked to say what they had learned while at AMP Camp. Another student said the “hands-on experience” was his favorite.
Teacher John Phillips, who was in the Electrical/Mechatronics group, said if he could use one word to describe the experience, it would be “eye-opening.” He said he had no idea of the opportunities at manufacturing industries in Randolph County and what they manufactured, including building parts for a Medevac helicopter and a part for the Honda CR-V.
Angie Barrier, a teacher for Asheboro City Schools, said, “This week really drove home that college isn’t just a four-year degree. College is also a certificate; it is also a diploma; it is also an associate degree (at a community college).”