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5th-8th graders at NTC S.M.A.R.T. Program Saturday


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  Several middle school and junior high students will be applying their math and science skills in a manufacturing program at Northcentral Technical College Saturday. It’s called the S.M.A.R.T. Program, which stands for Science & Math Activities using Real-world Thinking.

The Wausau and Phillips campuses will host the students and an adult helper as they learn about new technology used for manufacturing, and show them how important math and science classes are for their futures.

Darren Ackley from NTC coordinates the program.  He says the participating students and their adult helpers will have a choice of projects to build.  "They'll be machining a hammer, or they will be working in our welding lab creating some different pieces of art, or they'll be working in our electromechanical lab building some little robotic and light-flashing circuit board-type stuff."

The S.M.A.R.T. program is designed to show middle school and junior high students that manufacturing jobs can be exciting and enjoyable careers that can also pay well.

Saturday’s program is filled to capacity, but NTC is considering expanding the S.M.A.R.T. program if they can get the funding.

Students will be able to make either an electronic device that beats to music in the Electromechanical Department, welded art in the Welding Department or use their math and engineering skills to design and construct a project in the Machine Tool Department.

Each of the options emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math skills while having fun. Ackley says the program will help them to start thinking about where their interests and aptitudes can take them after they finish school.