UMC’s Summer STEM Career Exploration Group Visits Stratasys Headquarters
This summer AdvancedTek customer UMC, a leading precision manufacturer for the medical device and aerospace industries, launched its first Summer STEM Career Exploration program. This is the latest initiative from a company that has a long history of offering apprenticeships, internships, and other opportunities to get students plugged into manufacturing. The Summer STEM program is a paid Youth Skills Program that allows 16 and 17-year-old students the opportunity to observe and perform hands-on work and explore what it might be like to work in a high-tech, fast-paced manufacturing environment. The students are also paid for their time!
During their time at UMC, the students are exposed to every aspect of the manufacturing business including, engineering, programming, machining, finishing, quality inspection, maintenance, sales, and CMM. Visits to partnering suppliers are also part of the program, allowing the students to see the whole manufacturing picture.
Last week the students met with AdvancedTek’s Matt Havekost at Stratasys’ headquarters in Eden Prairie for a tour of their showroom and learn about the latest in 3D printing technology. Matt explained how UMC currently uses 3D printing in their manufacturing processes and how the company could leverage the technology in the future. They also talked about opportunities for students in additive manufacturing, such as DFAM (design for additive manufacturing), applications in manufacturing and work holding for the machining centers, quality (design verification and CMM fixtures), and sales (prototyping and 3D printed components for communication with customers).
“The cool and unique thing about this program at UMC is that in addition to the normal college age intern program, they also have a high school age program, ” said Matt. “Some of these students already have used 3D printing at school or have their own printers at home. After our conversation, they came up with a project to redesign one of their custom parts cleaning trays to improve their process and better suit 3D printing as the method for production of the trays.”
3D printing is proving to be a great STEM tool for students, encouraging their creativity and allowing them bring their ideas to life. AdvancedTek is honored to have played a small part in educating and inspiring the future generation of engineers!
“I was really impressed by how versatile 3D printing was. I had no idea.” – Tanner, high school junior and UMC Summer STEM participant
“I liked hearing how the 3D printed parts are used for so many things and I learned so much from your explanations!” – Gavin, high school junior and STEM participant
“[3D printing] is groundbreaking stuff and I’m excited to see where it goes!” – Jonny, UMC Summer Engineering Intern