More than 200 high school students descended upon the Long Beach Convention Center to attend the SME Education Foundation Student Summit event series at WESTEC in 2019. The curated one-day event showcased the high-tech and exciting career opportunities available in the modern manufacturing industry. The Summits give 16- and 17-year-old students their first taste of manufacturing in the form of interactive experiences that inform, instruct and engage.
Hands-on Challenges and Competitions
High school students attending the WESTEC 2019 Student Summit competed in a STEM-based racing challenge designed to enthuse students about manufacturing. Each student’s goal during the racing challenge is to engineer peak performance. Winners will be judged on personal and team performance, along with their individual race results. Each team will utilize a base technology consisting of a 1:10 scale electric radio-controlled car that can be set up in more than 4 million ways before re-engineering a single part.
Guided Show-Floor Tour and Technology Demonstrations
What’s the best way to introduce young people to the high-tech world of advanced manufacturing? Put them face-to-face with manufacturers during show-floor tours of the WESTEC 2019 event. WESTEC features thousands of leading manufacturers in critical industries such as aerospace, medical, industrial machinery and consumer goods. Exhibitors provided an overview of how their companies fit within the manufacturing industry, and demonstrate their latest technology, products and innovative ideas.
Inspirational Industry Guest Speakers
Fredi Lajvardi, a nationally recognized STEM Educator, was on hand to speak to the high school students attending the WESTEC 2019 student summit. Lajvardi was the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary, Underwater Dreams, and the inspiration behind the major motion picture, Spare Parts, starring actor and comedian, George Lopez, who played Fredi. The movie featured the story of Lajvardi leading his team of disadvantaged teenagers in a university-level underwater robotics competition, where they defeated leading schools, including top-ranked MIT.
The SME Education Foundation Student Summit event series provides educators with the perfect opportunity to introduce career opportunities and capturing the attention of the young people in their classes with inspiring student-centric programming.