TSMA Members – You Rock!
Thanks to a great partnership that included TSMA, Massman Automation, Northern Contours, Minnesota Dream It. Do It. and TSMA volunteers … some 25,000 kids and adults were exposed to manufacturing at a nine-day event in Alexandria.
The event. MN High School League Trap Shooting Championship held June 10 – 18, 2019. Some 8,500 high school kids from throughout Minnesota competed as “shooters,” with an estimated 17,000 teachers, parents and fans in tow. The event features a new audience each day, with plenty of down-time to explore the vendor area.
- Minnesota Dream It. Do It. provided financial resources for a Premier Level sponsorship, which included a 20’ vendor booth housed in a walled tent.
- Massman Automation provided the main attraction: a Universal Robot Arm. Equipped with an end-of-arm tooling device called a gripper, the robot arm was programmed to continuously demonstrate pick and place technology. Youth and parents alike were drawn to this display, thus providing TSMA volunteers an opportunity to talk about the high tech world of modern manufacturing. Volunteers took it one step further when a student expressed interest; these youngsters learned to re-program the robot arm to accomplish a new task involving a baseball!
- Northern Contours donated a personalized bean bag game … not only was the game was used to get the attention of youth, it also served as the “grand prize” in a drawing that involved the collection of parent information. (Thank you, ITW Heartland, for picking up the tab for shipping the prize!)
- TSMA Board members assisted with project coordination and took the lead with booth setup and takedown. TSMA invested in marketing collateral – a looping video and member logo displays - to provide visual representation of manufacturing in Minnesota.
- TSMA staff provided project coordination to ensure the booth featured an engaging, hands-on approach to the promotion of manufacturing. And, coordination of volunteers to staff the booth.
- TSMA members stepped up admirably to cover 18 half-day shifts in the booth. Some provided one employee, others got multiple employees involved. Volunteers hailed from production and HR, training and management, and more. A special shout-out to Lowry Manufacturing for covering all four of the difficult-to-fill weekend shifts! These nine companies didn’t hesitate to “raise their hand” to provide volunteers for this project: 3M, Alexandria Industries, Douglas Finishing, FORCE America, ITW Heartland, Lowry Manufacturing, Massman Automation, Otter Tail Power Company, and Voyager Industries. Thank you to Mark Malingen for enhancing our booth with The Gun Holder display.
From our volunteers…
- The kids loved the robot. When they were given a chance to do the mini program, they were really hooked!
- Compared to other student expos, this one was really good. The kids were engaged and interested.
- Most of the kids who were interested in the robot went on to inquire about opportunities for “programming education” at the Alexandria Technical and Community College booth.
- A number of parents asked about schooling requirements for kids considering a career in manufacturing.
Thank you to all who made this a great experience!