Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Students build robots in Michigan while furthering their STEM education.

Students enjoy building things. Look no further than the display of awesomeness at this year’s White House Science Fair. The "Supergirls" Junior FIRST Lego League Team designed a battery-powered page turner from Legos to help people read who are paralyzed or suffer from conditions such as arthritis. The young women from Daily Girl Scouts' troop 411 hail from Tulsa, OK. (We’re still a little obsessed.)

High school students in Michigan are getting in on the awesome robotics action. Local universities in the Detroit area are opening their doors to students, furthering interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (aka STEM).

The key to capturing students’ interest: robotics teams, the Associated Press reports.

An increasing number of students from Michigan’s most financially strapped urban school districts, including Detroit and Flint, are joining robotics teams because local universities are making space and materials available at no charge.

The University of Michigan hosts 18 teams from city schools at its Michigan Engineering Zone. This kind of hands-on experience encourages students to pursue careers like manufacturing where they can build things. One team that’s just as awesome as the “Supergirls” is the Pink Panthers from the Detroit International Academy for Young Women.

We hope policymakers continue to invest in STEM through workforce development programs and by investing in industrial research and development. This will ensure the "Supergirls" grow up to find jobs as "Super Engineers."