SCC Helps Fund Advanced Manufacturing Program at Burlington Public Library

10/23/2014

West Burlington, IA-Southeastern Community College (SCC) is fostering advanced manufacturing at an early age.

Beginning in September, SCC is helping fund an advanced manufacturing program for kids at the Burlington Public Library.  In July, the library was one of 15 recipients of a grant from Elevate Iowa’s Advanced Manufacturing initiative.

The grant will fund the purchase of kits for the Lego kits and begin offering a monthly, after school robotic LEGO Club for students in grades 2 through 6 starting later this month.

A year ago, the Burlington Public Library initiated a monthly Saturday LEGO club for students from Kindergarten through grade 5. Using LEGO WeDo kits, students learn the process of building their own robots using motors, LEGO pieces, while under the guidance of manufacturing professionals. With over 50 students attending each session, the event was a hit.

Southeastern Community College (SCC) Work-Based Learning Specialist, Leanne Krogmeier, says the LEGO program is an opportunity for students to learn about advanced manufacturing.

The initiative to encourage students to explore technical careers has been building momentum for a while. Earlier this year, SCC hosted a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) event to expose young students to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Krogmeier continues that SCC has been promoting local manufacturers and career opportunities specific to Southeast Iowa. In response to SCC’s outreach, Burlington businesses are already on board to help with the LEGO program.

“Case-New Holland has already signed on to help teach the students the ins and outs of building the robots, from start to finish. It’s a great way to get kids to see what advanced manufacturing is all about,” says Krogmeier.

Krogmeier says after the year-long program ends, the library plans to continue offering work-based learning opportunities for students. “The plan is to keep the LEGO program for years to come and to continue offering the WeDo kits for our students.”