Over 17,000 students visited the Smartforce Student Summit during IMTS. On Wednesday, September 10, the majority of the crowd was made up of students ranging from grades 6 to 8 who attend the Azuela School located on the southwest side of Chicago. Thanks to Principal Carmen Navarro, 350 of her students rushed into the Summit early Wednesday, eager to learn more about future careers in manufacturing technology.
Eric Sarb, a sixth and eighth grade Earth and physical science teacher, believes that the hands-on knowledge offered at the Smartforce Student Summit was the most effective way for his students to learn about manufacturing technology. “This is the world they live in,” Sarb explains, “these students grew up with cell phones and computers.” Although their generation is highly technological, they still need to work hard to achieve success for their futures. The Azuela School’s population is largely children of Mexican heritage whose parents immigrated to the United States. Sarb explains that, because the students have seen their parents work hard to give them a good education in the U.S., “school is their job,” and they take their education seriously. Speaking highly of his students, Sarb states, “I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll go to amazing colleges. These kids are going to change the world someday.”
Along with the Azuela students, the summit captured the attention of others as well.
Brandon, Jake, and Sid are all freshmen at Huntley High School who attended the summit to learn more about future careers in engineering. “This is exactly why I want to go into engineering,” Sid shared, “I want to use technology to make lives easier.”
Stephanie and Beth, a senior and junior at Elkhorn High School in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, enjoyed visiting the FIRST booth, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, where they were able to see robots built by students play a game. “This was very worthwhile,” Stephanie commented, “Seeing it makes me more interested in the field.” Both of the students were very thankful to Precision Plus Inc. for sponsoring the transportation to get schools like Elkhorn to IMTS.