The Duncan Banner

December 3, 2012

Students delve into engineering

Rebeka Rutledge
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Duncan Middle School seventh graders got a taste of what it takes to be in the engineering workforce when a Manufacturing Education Training System trailer visited their school Monday.

Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation and Duncan Public Schools brought the METS trailer to Duncan, funded by the Southwestern Oklahoma Impact Coalition through a grant from the Department of Commerce. METS shows students the basics of manufacturing, with the hope of teaching them what the field has to offer toward their future.

“It gives a preview to what careers they can have in Duncan,” said Carol Bowles, DMS assistant principal. “It gets the kids excited and gets them thinking about how math and science can come in handy after high school.”

Inside the trailer, engineers from Pioneer Technology Center, who run the educational unit, and manufacturers from the area talked to students about what they do and showed examples of the kinds of equipment they work with.

“We want you to be our next engineers because there are cool jobs out there and you can make good money,” said Steve Marquardt, independent coordinator for Pioneer.

Many of those jobs are already in and developing in the Duncan area, which is another reason DAEDF is supporting the early education of engineering in schools. These students are being shown that they can make a good living right here at home.

“There is a lot of engineering in Duncan and there is about 80 percent of it that the community isn’t even aware exists,” said Walt Lentz with Cameron Measurement.

The excitement and interest shone on several of the young student’s faces as they listened and asked questions. Some had had a previous interest in the area, while others developed interest after the trailer experience.

“I thought it was cool and I’m glad the school gave us this opportunity, it’s amazing,” said Mackenzi Cook. “I didn’t understand the hard work that goes into being an engineer and now I can understand better.”