More than 200 high school students from around New York’s Capital Region visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today to celebrate National Manufacturing Day. It marks the third year Rensselaer has participated in the event, which aims to inspire young people to pursue careers in technology and advanced manufacturing.
“Advanced manufacturing is critical for accelerating American innovation, for translating American science and technology into new products, and for creating high-paying jobs around the country, New York state, and in the Capital Region,” said Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “National Manufacturing Day is a powerful tool to excite young people about manufacturing, to show them how technology can and does change the world, and to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.”
At Rensselaer, high school students visited the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center to meet and learn from Rensselaer student clubs and other organizations, including the Formula SAE racing team and Design, Build, Fly team. The high school students also visited the leading-edge Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab (MILL), where Rensselaer students showcased their manufacturing projects.
Manufacturing proponent Jeremy Bout, executive producer and host of the television program The Edge Factor Show, gave the keynote address. Like his show, Bout’s presentation featured stories about individuals who pursued careers in manufacturing. While these manufacturers had different backgrounds and motivations, they shared a passion for building incredible products and improving the lives of others.
Another highlight of the event was a panel discussion, moderated by Bout, with three Rensselaer alumni and alumnae who work in the area of manufacturing: Dan Cotrupe ’96, an entrepreneur and founder of Tectonic Craft Studios; Christine Pacifico ’14, a manufacturing engineer with General Electric; and Amanda Lambros ’13, a quality engineer in manufacturing and design for Schick.
The Rensselaer School of Engineering planned the university’s National Manufacturing Day events, with support from the Empire State Development (ESD) Division for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR), Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing of the Capital Region (CEN), Center for Economic Growth (CEG), and Haas-HFO Allendale Machinery, as well as the Rensselaer MILL and Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS). Additionally, Snap-on supplied a Rock 'n Roll Cab Express truck in support of the event.