via Hannah Story for WDBJ7 [link]

While most high schoolers may be taking the summer off, a group of Henry County students are preparing for the future this week.

Six students are taking part in an Advanced Technology Camp through Patrick Henry Community College.

Engineering prospects are seeing if they have what it takes this week.

First, they’re building a router they can use for the ultimate challenge: designing and producing a clock using any of the machines and materials at PHCC’s Fab Lab.

“I’m a big sucker for Legos as a kid, so this is kind of taking me back,” says camp participant, Finley Underwood.

The instructor says there is a need for advanced manufacturing jobs.

He’s glad these students are taking the steps to see if they can fit the mold.

“Get rid of the stigma of what manufacturing used to be 15, 20 years ago and what it is now,” says instructor, David Dillard.

He says students will only be able to see if they have what it takes, if they are able to take advantage of opportunities like this, before college.

“There’s not enough time in a day for students to make things to take home and be exposed to stuff like that and these camps really give students an opportunity to do things like that,” says Dillard.

The students agree.

“I thought this would be a great idea to step my foot in the door a little bit and see what engineering is like and where it can take me in the world,” says Underwood.

The winning team of the clock design competition will receive two free months at PHCC’s Fab Lab to design and manufacture anything they choose.

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