FIRST Robotics is an organization that promotes STEM education through robotics competitions. While you might immediately picture science fairs of the past, FIRST events are more in the vein of a pep rally.
I love STEM events. Students huddling around chemistry experiments, buzzing machines, and the buzzing of learning makes me giddy; all of these bright young minds are going to be our future, and, with our help, our legacy as STEM professionals.
Letting students take control of the CNC machine for the first time each semester can be terrifying enough if they were paying attention to your wise words of caution, but we all know some of them weren’t taking studious notes. An easy way to save your machine and nerves is to give your students forgiving workpieces, like machinist wax, wood, or plastic, but that’s not always the best solution.
The world of manufacturing and engineering is constantly changing and progressing, and so does the education to get quality workers in those industries. The Madison College Robotics and Automation program concentrates on preparing students for industry by giving them hands-on experience with a variety of tools and machines, including a Tormach PCNC 440.
The beginning of the school year is fueled with energy of new classes for students around the country, but for a team of Covington, WA, students, it’s the smell of sizzling coolant and oil that gets them excited for the start of the school year and FIRST robotics preparation.
Earlier this week, we visited a local technical school, Madison College, to see what they were up to with their PCNC 440. As part of the automation integration program, an array of students have had the opportunity to use Fanuc robots for different programming and automation challenges. Students did everything from packaging candy to unpacking a CD. But, we’re biased, and our favorite took blank