Wyatt Shepherd, 14, watches as a cribbage board is cut Thursday morning during the second week of Ivy Tech’s summer camp. While the first week focused on design, the second week lets students learn about manufacturing. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Wyatt Shepherd, 14, watches as a cribbage board is cut Thursday morning during the second week of Ivy Tech’s summer camp. While the first week focused on design, the second week lets students learn about manufacturing. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
While they still might have to learn how to master the game, students attending the Ivy Tech Manufacturing Summer Camp this week learned to use software to write code for a Computer Aided Machine to produce a cribbage board.
Robert Marsh, department chair for Ivy Tech’s School of Technology, said the students attending the camp at Orthopedic & Advanced Manufacturing Training Center used MasterCAM software to create the cribbage board. Each student customized their board with their name on it, and programmed the machine themselves.
The software allows for some trial and error, Marsh said.
“If it doesn’t come out right in the software first, we can make changes before we make it out on the machine,” he said.
Tom Till, OAMTC director of advanced manufacturing, said, “It’s a whole lot cheaper and easier to fix it on software than on the machine.”
Till said modern manufacturing – like at the local orthopedic companies – uses software to create joint and hip replacements before they’re done on the manufacturing floor.
Nine sixth- through eighth-graders attended the manufacturing camp this week, and 10 attended the design camp last week, Till said.
In the design camp, students designed racecars using Siemens NX software.
“They designed it and then 3D printed it,” Till said. “Our machine went down last week so DePuy-Synthes is printing them for us.”
On his cribbage board, Wyatt Shepherd, 14, just printed his last name.
“I wasn’t sure it would fit because my last name is pretty long and I wanted my whole family to enjoy it without my name on it,” he said.
The process was “pretty fun,” Shepherd said. “It just takes a little while, but it was good. I learned a bunch of stuff about manufacturing, programming and working in the orthopedic companies.”
Victoria Heimbach, 12, took the design camp last year but signed up for the manufacturing camp this year. She said she chose the camp “because it was something different from last year and I like to try different things.”
She learned “coding is complicated, definitely complicated,” and learned a lot about software.
“It was a complicated journey but we got it done,” she said.
Daniel Zogbi, also 12, said he liked designing the cribbage board on the software.
“It was just really complicated and that made it challenging for me,” he said. “I like to find challenging stuff.”
Zogbi also took the design camp last week, but said he preferred the manufacturing camp.
Jayden Leake, 13, also took part in both camps.
“This camp, I thought, it was really cool to cut this block of plastic,” he said.
Ivy Tech instructor Dann Adkins said teaching the camp was fun.
“They all seem very interested in it. One kid asked me what we were doing next year, and I said we haven’t decided yet,” Adkins said.
While working with the students, he said he learned kids pick things up in the software quickly that adults struggle with.
Till said that with the camps, Ivy Tech is trying to expose the kids to manufacturing. There are more manufacturing jobs than employers can find workers for, he said. In the next five to 10 years, Till said many manufacturing workers will be retiring and those jobs will need to be filled.
“Kids in this camp will learn to make cribbage boards with the same equipment used in orthopedic manufacturing,” Till said. “They learn quick.”