Earlier this school year, a group of Delavan-Darien High School students and staff went to the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago courtesy of Precision Plus, Inc., in Elkhorn.
The IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 114,147 registrants. The event is held every two years and it fills the McCormick Place.
“Our trip to IMTS was such an eye-opener to both the staff and the students,” said DDHS science teacher Alexius Metten. “It was a great opportunity to see how the manufacturing world has advanced in recent years.”
The students were able to see not only what machines existed, but also what they were used for and the products they could create. The world’s first 3-D-printed car was even created at the show.
“The exhibitors did a great job explaining the tools and machines they had and even gave some of the students a chance to use them,” Metten said. “The trip provided us with a better understanding of what lies ahead for students thinking about pursuing a career in the manufacturing technology/engineering world.
“As a teacher, it was great to see the students so engaged and excited about what they were learning.”
Precision Plus provided coach transportation for six area high schools to attend the show over three days. DDHS students traveled with their peers from Union Grove High School.
More than 17,700 high school students and staff attend the show each year alongside business professionals in manufacturing.
A big part of the IMTS is the Smartforce Student Summit, which is a program that enriches student and educator attendance at IMTS and encourages career consideration in the manufacturing technology industry.
With more than 50 hands-on exhibits, the Student Summit was able to provide a fun and interactive environment to introduce educators, students and parents to exciting innovations in manufacturing technology and dynamic careers in the industry.
Students had the opportunity to see how much fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based learning can be in the Make It! area. There, students were able to try out new technologies and compete to see who could design and create the most effective 3D-printed wind turbine, courtesy of Rippl3D. Once through the Student Summit experience, students were invited to visit the thousands of IMTS exhibits.