Published April 27, 2007
For the third consecutive year, Central Community College hosted the state of Nebraska SkillsUSA competition. For the third consecutive year, the MEC conducted the Mechatronics competition, led by MEC Trainer Allen Stenzel who served as the state coordinator and lead judge for the competition.
Two years ago, there was one team entered in the high school division and one team entered in the college division. Last year, four high school teams entered the competition, and this past March, there were six teams entered in the high school division of the competition and one college team.
The growth in the competition despite the lack of Mechatronics lab equipment in high schools is a strong indicator of the influence of the MEC awareness activities and outreach. To date, the MEC has conducted over 170 awareness sessions to over 7,167 people. Over 83 faculty members have participated in MEC professional development activities for over 200 training days representing 52 high schools and 4 community colleges.
Every participant in the competition and their team faculty sponsors either trained in the MEC’s Manufacturing Learning Laboratory in a workshop, hosted an awareness event, or utlized MEC simulation software for pneumatics and electricity. In most cases, students and schools were involved in multiple activities.
Columbus High School, featured as a success story last quarter, provided
the gold medal winning Mechatronics team. Columbus High also houses the state’s first high school Mechatronics lab and articulates four courses with the CCC’s Mechatronics/Industrial Technology degree program.
The high school silver medal team was comprised of a freshman/junior sister team from Lincoln North Star High School, a new MEC partner high school. Their advisor, Charmain Satree, has participated in MEC professional development activities and has integrated her students into two separate high school workshops.
Additionally, CCC provided the state champion entrant to the college division. Both college and high school teams will have an opportunity to prepare for SkillsUSA Nationals in the lab in Columbus.