16 Jun VW Mechatronics Akademie
The Mechatronics Summer Camp at the Volkswagen Akademie provided a unique learning experience where students are able to discover and highlight their strengths. The camp’s activities emphasized aspects of physics, robotics, and mechatronics. The camp’s leaders have developed activities designed to educate students in teambuilding and following instructions, which will make the students a great asset to any field of study they choose to follow in the future. David Cowan, CTE Director of Hamilton County Schools, said the main goal of the camp is to “create a cohort of students with strong conflict resolving skills that have a streamlined path to a career of their choice upon their high school graduation.”
The group of twenty-six students that participated in this camp were selected from four schools in Hamilton County based on recommendations by their career and technical education advisors, grade point average, and Compass test scores. The camp prepared them for their debut year at the Volkswagen Akademie in the fall, where they will have a traditional curriculum, but with real world application. They will maintain dual citizenship at their home schools so they can participate in extracurricular activities that their schools provide. By the end of their high school career at Volkswagen Akademie, they will have the opportunity to graduate high school with college credit and a foundation in the world of engineering.
When this eager group of students was asked about their favorite aspect of the camp, they said they enjoyed the hands-on learning experiences because it is easier for them to focus than in a traditional classroom setting. During the week, the students continued exercises that prepared them for the world of engineering, like controlling a welding robot and studying scale models of assembly lines.
Chip Strickland, who taught physics at the camp, said a camp like this is important because of the opportunity it provides. When the students leave the high school program, they will be prepared for post high school jobs that provide great compensation, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. They will have many paths for success, whether they decide to go straight into the work force, or obtain a certification or degree in whatever field they desire.