Spika Design & Manufacturing hosted over 400 students at their facility on September 28-29 in celebration of MFG Day. Kids grades K-12 were invited to take part in one of five different activities, including welding steel and aluminum helicopters, working with electricity and a pencil lead plasma cutter, manufacturing a gear reduction board, designing in 3D solid modeling software, and assembling a plastic helicopter.
"We had such an awesome time," says Annette Hart, Superintendent of Judith Gap Public School, whose entire K-12 school participated in the MFG Day event. "We are especially grateful for the fun and informative experiences."
Kids were given manufacturing prizes throughout the day, such as welding jackets, welding helmets, safety glasses, and measuring tapes. Great Falls College provided the steel welding activity in their mobile welding lab, a lab recently developed and made possible by the RevUp grant.
"My favorite part of the event was having each student make something for themselves that they could actually take home to show their parents and friends," said Bekhi Spika, Director of Marketing for Spika. "It's so important that young people see that manufacturing isn't a dirty, dangerous job, but that it's really a fun, satisfying career. It was really empowering for the kids to see that yes, they can weld or 3D solid model. And a lot of them really liked it."
Montana State Lt. Governor Mike Cooney also joined in on the tours and activities with the kids on the 29th.
"It was an incredible experience seeing the students, the young kids and the older kids, learning about what great opportunities there are in manufacturing and what great possibilities they have for occupations," says Lt. Governor Cooney. "It showed them what they can do in order to join a workforce that will give them a good living, give them excitement, and allow them to stay right here in Montana."
Spika opened their doors to the community on the 29th so parents, teachers, and the community at large could participate in their own manufacturing activity. The night concluded with a presentation from three industry experts in Montana: Paddy Fleming with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Rep. Casey Schreiner with the MT Dept. of Labor, and Scott Anderson with The Billings Career Center.
Spika is a member of the Dream It. Do It. Central Montana group which helped to facilitate this year's MFG Day events. Five manufacturers from the group hosted 500+ students over the course of the two-day event.
Spika Design & Manufacturing develops and manufactures aluminum work platforms and support equipment for the aerospace, defense, and heavy equipment industries. Their 50+ employees make products that are shipped to maintenance facilities and manufacturing lines all across the globe.
To see more photos from the event, visit the Dream It. Do It. Central Montana Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/DIDICentralMT/?fref=ts