STEM Composites Event inspires East TN students

The April 21st STEM training event hosted by IACMI drew nearly one-hundred attendees representing over 10 schools in the East Tennessee area looking to understand the basics of composites. Dr. Uday Vaidya, IACMI Chief Technology Officer and UT Governor’s Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing, compiled a series of hands-on demonstrations led by seventeen of his University of Tennessee Engineering students to inspire optimism in our future engineer and next generation of composites workforce.

Photo above: STEM students, Sidney, Ezgi, Sam and Ipek work together to create a composite pennyboard. 

STEM Composites Event - Ping pong cannon with Jimmy Bray
Click image to view video. University of Tennessee student, Jimmy Bray, led the fan favorite ping-pong cannon demo, shooting a ping-pong ball through a vacuum sealed pipe at over 250 mph to cut a clean hole through an aluminum can. 

The training demonstrations were held at ORNL‘s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), home of the largest 3D printer in North America. The First Robotics Smoky Mountain Regional Champions, Hardin Valley RoHAWKtics, is no stranger to the facility. These students spend several months a year at the MDF working with nationally recognized experts in their field, such as Craig Blue, IACMI CEO, and Lonnie Love of ORNL. For other students, it was an opportunity to work with new materials and see cutting edge composites technologies firsthand.

Get the full recap of this event here
View the event photo album on our Facebook page.

HS Robotics team participates in baseball bat demo led by Hicham Ghossein and David McConnell.
University of Tennessee "Power T" created during the compression molding demonstration. 
“Dear Dr. Blue,
Thank you and your team for hosting the Composites Workshop this week. I brought three students from Roane County and we had a wonderful time learning about composites. The presentation from Dr. Vaidya was interesting and the University of Tennessee students had great demonstrations set up for the attendees. The best part was our high school students talking to the UT engineering students- all of whom were fun, articulate, and encouraging. It was wonderful.
I’d especially like to thank the UT students: Brandon, Adam and or course, Jimmy- the Ping Pong Cannon expert, for their extensive effort in getting to know the high school students. You all made an impact on their career choices.”

- Silvia Mende, Roane County First Robotics Mentor
ORNL Scientist, Soydan Ozcan, passes along the STEM gene to his three daughters. 
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