Math, science and manufacturing technology educators and students are being encouraged to seize the moment: an incredible teaching and learning opportunity that comes around only once every two years. The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is being held at Chicago's McCormick Place September 4-11, 2002. Through the IMTS Student Summit Program, educators, career guidance counselors and school administrators can join their students to witness the greatest assemblage of machine tools and related manufacturing technology in the western hemisphere. Students get a pragmatic, hands-on look at a wide variety of not only intriguing applications to their course work but also rewarding job and career opportunities in today's sophisticated, high-tech manufacturing industry.
By simply registering, educators can bring their students to the Student Summit at IMTS 2002 free of charge. Educators can pre-register individuals or a group electronically at www.imtsnet.org by clicking on Student Summit. Attendees will be exposed to the latest manufacturing products, services and processes of the more than 1,800 exhibitors, grouped into ten distinct pavilions spanning 1.4 million square feet of trade show floor space. Virtually all teachers responding to surveys from past IMTS Student Summits indicated that they and their students acquired a greater understanding of the industry and experienced a positive change in their perceptions of careers in manufacturing technology. To further accommodate student groups, the IMTS 2002 Student Summit is tailoring its programs to the students' specific interests, such as math and science applications. Career opportunities in mechanical, electrical, electronic and software engineering; machining; machine building; sales and distribution; machine maintenance; and installation, repair and service technicians plus several other skilled and professional job categories can be explored. Most student groups visit for a full day.
Thousands of students and educators from hundreds of middle/high schools, community/technical colleges and universities from across the United States have attended previous IMTS Student Summits. The manufacturing industry is reaching out to students, parents and educators to change the misperceptions that may be keeping some from considering careers in manufacturing. Several manufacturing associations are encouraging their member companies to provide IMTS Student Summit Mentors to their local schools. These mentors are provided with a special kit that makes it easy for them to encourage educators and students to attend IMTS or to consider careers in manufacturing technology. Any company interested in being a mentor can request a kit by calling (703) 827-5219. Schools should encourage their industry advisory committees to request a kit. Numerous industry exhibitors at IMTS are extremely interested in welcoming educators and students into their booths to discuss technical issues and career opportunities. These "Student Friendly Exhibitors" also participate in a student activity called "Quest For Knowledge." This scavenger hunt-type game helps make the field trip a fun and educational experience for both students and teachers. The Student Summit helps educators show students things that are hard to depict in the classroom, such as a closeup view of the very latest machine tools and related manufacturing technology. It also provides an opportunity to meet the many technical experts who are demonstrating their companys' technology. In short, students and educators get to see, feel and discuss the real world of manufacturing.
Many students and parents have the mistaken perception that manufacturing jobs only existed for machinists. After attending an IMTS Student Summit, they soon discover that there are numerous well-paying skilled, technical and professional career opportunities related to manufacturing technology. Students and educators see firsthand numerous real world applications that give meaning to their math, science, chemistry, physics, computer science, and communications studies. The Student Summit at IMTS is the manufacturing technology industry's major effort that uses the equipment, services and people of IMTS to display to the workforce of tomorrow the challenging, computer-driven environments that typify high-tech manufacturing today.