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Bright Minds

February 19, 2006

Filed under: additive manufacturing,education,event — Terry Wohlers @ 12:01

I first wrote about the Bright Minds Mentor Program in May 2004. See the May 1, 2004 commentary titled Bright Minds Mentor Program. The program, now in its third year, has expanded beyond my expectations. Thanks goes to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the many individuals and companies that have supported the program. DaimlerChrysler is this year’s sponsor; Z Corp. and Stratasys sponsored it in 2005 and 2004, respectively.

On May 24, 2006, 48 high school students from the Chicago area will attend SME’s Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2006 event as part of the Bright Minds program. Each of them will be matched with professionals from automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, and other industries. More than 25 professionals have generously agreed to serve as mentors, so most of them will work with two students for the day.

The program’s purpose is to expose students to the latest tools and methods for rapid product development and manufacturing. We hope that this experience excites the students to the point where they choose to pursue a career in product design, engineering, manufacturing, or a related field. It would be difficult to see the newest generation additive technologies and not be interested in their impact, now and in the future. 

I am especially excited about this year’s program. As I read through the applications submitted by each of the students, I could see that we were getting many of the best students from the area. Their writing skills were exceptional. Each of them expressed themselves clearly, descriptively, and powerfully, and with emotion. They really want to be a part of the program and they made an impression. I can only hope that the day helps these bright minds make the right decision about their future. That’s what it’s all about.