Brainerd Lakes Area manufacturers provided students with a firsthand opportunity to experience advanced manufacturing technology at the 2013 Bridges Career Exploration Day.
More than 2,300 students from 21 area school districts participated in the annual event at Central Lakes College on March 8 in Brainerd.
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s Manufacturing Alliance donated prizes to attract students into the manufacturing area during this event. Brainerd High School student Justin McMillion won a new, fully equipped kayak manufactured locally by Stern Industries, Lakeland Mold Company and Crow Wing Kayaks.
Additional sporting goods prizes were awarded to Levi Orth of Pillager High School, Mike Jonis from Little Falls Community High School and Jaxon Olander from Staples Motley High School.
The manufacturing area of the Bridges Career Exploration Day emphasized the new face of today’s manufacturing, relying heavily on computerization and robotics. Demonstrations included a “virtual welder,” laser engraver and even programming robots, drawing upon the STEM skill sets of science, technology, engineering and math.
Displays at the Bridges Career Exploration Day included an Arctic Cat snowmobile and ATV. Local company personnel from Clow Stamping and Stern Manufacturing were on hand to discuss the components they manufacture and ship to Arctic Cat as part of the finished product on display.
Local sprint car racer Jared Goerges was on hand with his sprint car that includes parts made by local manufacturer, Pequot Tool & Mfg., Inc. in Jenkins.