Gordon Williams, left, director of the mechatronics program for Roane State, operates a robotic arm for middle school students participating in the kickoff of the “Dream It. Do It.” competition. Participants in this year’s version of the “Dream It. Do It.” competition are shown at the conclusion of the kickoff event, held in Roane State’s mechatronics facility.
Oct. 15, 2019
By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
Roane State hosted the launch of the 5th annual “Dream It. Do It.” competition at the community college’s mechatronics campus in Clinton and is also providing judges for the months-long events.
Now in its fifth year, the unique student competition highlighting manufacturing careers is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, (CNS) the contractor that operates the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, and the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce.
The event is held each October as part of the National Manufacturing Day celebration.
Chamber President Rick Meredith during the competition kickoff expressed appreciation for the college’s assistance. Gordon Williams, director of the mechatronics program in the Clinton Higher Education and Training facility, showed the students the various types of equipment used in mechatronics.
In “Dream It. Do It.,” students from four Anderson County Middle Schools and Oak Ridge’s Robertsville and Jefferson middle schools team up with local industries – Aisin Automotive Casting Tennessee, Clayton Homes, Eagle Bend Manufacturing, Protomet, Techmer PM and SL Tennessee – to learn how a variety of items are made by the firms.
County schools in the event are Lake City, Norris, Norwood, and Clinton middle schools.
CNS provides each student team with a digital camera, and the students produce videos – not to exceed two-and-a-half minutes in length - that give an overview of the respective companies and their manufacturing processes. Those are uploaded onto the Anderson Chamber of Commerce website, and the public has a week in April 2020 to cast ballots for their favorite.
Last year, there were 3,147 votes cast, said Kristin Waldschlager, in Y-12’s education outreach division.
The winners will be announced May 5, 2020, and CNS is providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) scholarships of $1,000, $750 and $500 to the teams’ respective teachers.
A web design competition for sixth graders and an arts competition for seventh graders in the six middle schools is also part of the event.
Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has campuses in Crossville, Harriman, Huntsville, Jamestown, Knoxville, LaFollette, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Wartburg and Clinton. For more information, visit roanestate.edu or call (865) 882-4554.
Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at www.roanestate.edu/reconnect.
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