Equipment exposes students to manufacturing careers


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Oct 07, 2023

Equipment exposes students to manufacturing careers

LUXEMBURG, Wis. — Ezra Waege recently got a little time to operate a FANUC

LUXEMBURG, Wis. — Ezra Waege recently got a little time to operate a FANUC robotic arm at Luxemburg-Casco High School.

The arm is one of a number of several new pieces of equipment the district added to aid manufacturing eduction at the school.

"We’re working on programming it to move this object from place to place," Waege said as the robot rotated on its stand.

Waege, a junior, is still deciding what career he’d like to pursue but working with this kind of equipment has captured his attention.

"This is the first time I’ve worked on it, but I think it brings a lot of new opportunities to Luxemburg about programming and about future jobs kids can do," he said.

New equipment includes mini-CNC machines, a robotic arm, an injection molder and an embroidery machine. It was acquired through the help of area businesses, grants and the school district.

Tech Ed teacher Will Simonar said the program aims to make students independent self starters with problem-solving skills.

"We want to stay as relevant to industry as possible. We don't want to be running 10-year-old machines here if they’re still not in industry," he said. "We want to have as close to the real-world experience as we can here, so bringing in new machines gets the kids excited."

It also gives students an early opportunity to find out what career they like and which they do not. That can save time and money after they graduate high school.

Teaching opportunities, like with the new equipment and youth apprenticeship opportunities with local businesses, are also helping prepare students for jobs available in the immediate community and around the state.

"I really hope our students see the value in the jobs that are right here," Simonar said. "A lot of our local companies are big supporters of us, whether it's helping us tech ed teachers get stuff ready or it might be a monetary donation of some kind. We want to give back to those people as well."

Waege still has time to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life, but he now has some experience to help guide that decision.

"I think I would consider a job in manufacturing and engineering after high school," he said.