Manufacturing Brighter Futures

Thank You for Attending!

You've inspired industry leaders and our exhibit partners and your interaction with us has made the tenth student summit at IMTS a tremendous success! Please check back for updates and of course, we'll be sending you more information on how you can continue to engage in the Challenges from the student summit with project based learning assignments in your classroom.

Career Launch Pad for Community College and Engineering School Students

The Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2016 has added a career fair, the Smartforce Career Launch Pad for students in career & technical education programs, community colleges and engineering schools. If you’re nearing workforce readiness and searching for an internship or a job, then use this link to register for the student summit and the career launch pad. Once you’ve registered, you can upload your resume to to connect with companies, set up interviews, etc.

More Information

Watch the Welcome/Orientation Video

FIRST  Theater Events

Attend events in the FIRST  Theater at the Smartforce Student Summit (Room N-227, North Building, McCormick Place) to learn more about STEAM competitions, challenges, and scholarships as well as mentor-based, research and robotics programs and educational tech programs to spur economic development.

View Schedule

Student Challenges

The Smartforce Student Summit offers a fun and interactive experience through nine challenges for students to discover and use some of the technologies utilized in advanced manufacturing.

Design It! Use Autodesk Fusion 360 software to design and create models of Googie (space-age) style rockets
Make It! Make a 3D printed rocket through one of three options, and test rockets in our one-of-a-kind special air power flight-test tower.
Tool It! See how manufacturing affects virtually everything you touch — from aircraft and automobiles to smart phones, computers and more.
Machine It! Discover how to machine Googie-style rockets on the Haas ST-10 and a Haas VF-2.
Measure It! Learn to operate a ZEISS DuraMax coordinate measuring machine and run the CNC measurement program to find out if your design makes the grade.
Automate It! Operate machine components and parts with a robotic arm and grippers.
Weld It! Test welding ability, knowledge, and speed using the Lincoln Electric® RealWeld® Trainer.
Weld It with Robots! Navigate a robot through a realistic welding obstacle course.
Build It! Experienced mechatronics student teams will go against teams of industry professionals in a WARDJet waterjet cutting machine build-off competition for a chance to win a waterjet for their school’s machining lab.

Challenge Details  Summit Brochure

Lighting the Future in the Smartforce Student Summit

Students at IMTS

The Smartforce Student Summit proved to be more successful than ever. During IMTS 2014, students, educators, administrators and parent chaperones from more than 450 schools and dozens of scout troops attended. The schools came primarily from the Chicagoland area, with heavy participation from the Great Lakes states and students who attend community college or engineering school from a total of 34 states, double the number of states represented at IMTS 2012 participated in IMTS via the student summit as well.

With more than 50 hands-on exhibits, the Student Summit was able to provide a fun and interactive environment to introduce educators, students and parents to exciting innovations in manufacturing technology and dynamic careers in the industry.

Students had the opportunity to see how much fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based learning can be in the Make It! area. There, students were able to try out new technologies and compete to see who could design and create the most effective 3D-printed wind turbine, courtesy of Rippl3D. Once through the Student Summit experience, students were invited to visit the thousands of IMTS exhibits.

Photos from 2014

Career Pathways

Careers in manufacturing can take you anywhere your imagination wants to go. It’s a front-row seat to using some of the world’s most advanced technology. It’s the kind of career where you’ll use problem-solving skills, creativity, and critical thinking.

Find out what career fields are available in manufacturing.

What People are Saying About the Student Summit

One of the best learning experiences of the year for my students!
Few field trips validate classroom learning like IMTS!
My students felt honored, recognized, and welcomed to the world of machining.  Thank you!
Overall, this is such an impressive event.  It was great to have our students and staff see so many great examples of what advanced manufacturing is.
There’s always room for improvement, but the Student Summit is still the most important part of IMTS.
Our students immediately gravitated toward the FANUC Robotics booth.  The robots really grabbed their attention.   Sandvik Coromant’s booth was also a success, as they engaged the students with questions.
FANUC Robotics, as did all the exhibitors, did an excellent job.
All the people were friendly and the booths were very presentable.  It demonstrated that there are people interested in American Manufacturing.