'You Can Build It' Manufacturing Camp offers hands-on experience

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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Sparks were flying everywhere Thursday during the 'You Can Build It' program in Iron Mountain.

Student welds his project

It gives 13 to 16 year olds the opportunity to have hands-on experience with mechanical technology even before they can take these classes in high school. The instructor, who is also fabrication welder in the field, says he is thrilled this is a new camp.

"I think it's really cool. I was excited when I was asked to do it. So for them to be able to have access to this type of information, manufacturing equipment at an earlier age it's pretty important, and they seem to be responding to it well,” said Camp Instructor, Daniel Mitchell.

Throughout the two weeks, students learn the basics of welding, designing on computer software and how to fabricate, price and sell a product.

Students are even able to use this automatic plasma table, where they type in what they want here, and it cuts out the designs.

They can work independently and as part of a team, meet others and share their projects.

"It's really fun, I’ve got to admit at first I was hesitant, but I’m really glad that I came because it's been super fun to get to know people here, and very fun to get to know how to weld,” says Camp Student, Paige Briseno.

This shows them what their future career could be like says the instructor.

"It offers insight in terms of what the technological advancements that are happening in the manufacturing industry today. So it's mainly seeing what types of jobs they could potentially have when they get a little older in this area and just kind of the industry we have here locally,” said Mitchell.

The end goal of this camp is to manufacture a product start to finish by fabricating a small fire pit for camping.

Manufacturing camp is hosted by Bay College West in Iron Mountain and offered through the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation which supports individuals in discovering their interest in manufacturing.

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