By Frank Stanko
Wahpeton High School’s sophomores and juniors received a first-hand look at innovations being taught and implemented in their city during Wednesday’s second annual Manufacturing Day.
Four area businesses, Bobcat, Minn-Dak Farmer’s Cooperative, Masonite Corporation and ComDel Innovation partnered with North Dakota State College of Science to hold a day’s worth of hour-long tours explaining the changing face of manufacturing.
“Manufacturing Day is an initiative that is country-wide for the last four years. And so, we decided to have our own Manufacturing Day,” said Clint Gilbertson, who coordinated the event for NDSCS. “It was formed by the Economic Development Committee at City Hall and they contacted us and some local manufacturers. So they’ve got a partnership and we’ve got a fun, informative day for the students.”
The fun included computer simulations of welding and use of robotics to play a variation of the popular “Claw Game” in order to pick up candy from a dish. Along with welding technology and robotics mechatronics automation technology, students observed precision machining and how Willie the Wildcat is engraved on items such as ball hinge keychains. At ComDel, auto body painting equipment was made. Some students even got to keep completed liners they watched get molded.
Gilbertson said just under 200 students participated in Wednesday’s events. “And last year, it was juniors and seniors. This year, they decided to go with sophomores and juniors to catch a new group of students. There’s already talk of next year possibly having all the seniors from across the county, across the county’s schools, come in. We’re always thinking of ways to improve Manufacturing Day and to reach out to the most and have the best impact on students.”