Kelly A. Burlison Middle School participated in Manufacturing Day Oct. 6 at Mineral Area College. 

Manufacturing Day is held every year the first Friday of October, nationwide. The purpose of the day is to promote manufacturing jobs and to change the way the public perceives the industry.

MAC hosted the Manufacturing Day Expo specifically for middle school-aged students from around the area. KABMS was one of many schools on campus Friday.

Students visited manufacturing exhibits and participated in manufacturing related activities.

Representatives from Botkin Lumber Co. of Farmington, Filtration System Products or Fredericktown, Holcim of Bloomsdale, Mississippi Lime Co. of Ste. Genevieve, and Primal Glass-USA or Park Hills each gave 20-minute presentations about what their company does.

Mississippi Lime Co. brought an added surprise to go with its presentation. Account Manager Curt Meyer from Simformation was on site running a simulation van which allowed students to experience what it is like to drive a bulldozer. When asked what their favorite part of the day was many students said the simulation van.

Other than the simulation, students participated in activities such as the construction of a bristlebot robot, a behind the scenes of manufacturing video, rigging and hoist demonstration, exploring fluid power, career exploration, and fun with robotics.

Due to time constraints students were only able to participate in some of the activities and presentations available. A specific schedule of 20-minute presentations and 30-minute activities was followed in order to allow students to see as many things as possible.

The Fredericktown students were quick to jump in and solve the problems during the rigging activity.

"This has been the quickest with math of all the groups," MAC Instructor Paul Fritch said. "You were the best so far."

To participate in the event students were first presented with the idea and then had to fill out a commitment form in order to be in the running. Students were then selected based off of many different factors. Just 14 were chosen.

KABMS Counselor Shelley Stacey said the school looked at the students' grades, attendance, interests, and other factors. They wanted to take students who would get the most out of the experience.

Stacey said the school would like to bring these students back and have them teach their peers how to do some of the activities they witnessed. 

"The kids had a great time," said event worker Bev Hickem. "They were very engaged and it was a great way to have hands-on experience within the industries."

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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