Bionics Activity Day at Western gives students a look at the Manufacturing Industry

“When they see that spark, their eyes light up with that spark,” explained Associate Dean of Integrated Technology for Western Technical College Michael Poellinger.

Some students were skeptical that they would have fun going to Bionics Activity Day at Western Technical College.

“I was at Boys and Girls club, and they were like ‘do you want to join this robotics thing’ and I was like ‘no,'” explained Rosa Myren, 7th Grade Student.

“I think most kids, and even parents think manufacturing are the 3 d’s, that it’s dirty, dark, and dangerous,” added Poellinger.

To help break that misconception, Bionics Day was full of hands on activities giving kids a look at what manufacturing may really offer a student, in hopes to spark an interest of a possible job.

“A major part of our economy in our district relies on manufacturing,” elaborated Poellinger.

In the morning, students got right to work.

“I walked in they were marking robots and I thought that was cool, then I started making robots with them,” recalled Myren.

And after lunch, students welded their own dragonfly.

“Then we went, and we saw the Iron make the shape,” remembered Myren.

Michael Pollinger understands that not all students who go through the Bionics Activity day will want to work in manufacturing, but knows that even if a child learns the skills used in manufacturing, it can go a long way.

“Typically they’re going to work with somebody that’s in manufacturing, so it’s a collaborative world and having an understanding of what other people do is an integral part of growing our economy,” said the Associate Dean.

Still, making a career choice is still a bit down the road for these students, so for now, it’s also important for Pollenger that the kids have a good time.

“I’m definitely going to come back next time,” projected Myren.

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