When thousands of composites manufacturers, suppliers and consultants converge on the Tampa Convention Center for Composites & Polycon 2007, among these industry professionals will be 75 Boy Scouts of America.
These young men will attend the conference and trade show as part of the ACMA’s “Think Composites” outreach program for students.
Initiated in 2006, the primary goals of the “”Think Composites”” program are to introduce students to the composites industry, explain the fundamentals of the chemical processes involved, and encourage them to explore composites materials more on their own.
Attending the show on Friday, October 19th, the 75 Scouts will be divided into three groups where they will begin the program with a brief introductory session, followed by an exhibit hall tour. The 2007 program will also contain a hands-on component in which the Scouts will learn to make composite fins for model rockets. Working in small groups, they will laminate the fins and wait for a cure. Each Scout will then be given the materials to take home and complete his own rocket, along with the custom patches they will have earned.
Additionally, ACMA is working with the Society for the Plastics Industry (SPI) PlastiVan to offer even more educational hands-on activities for the Scouts than in 2006. The PlastiVan is a mobile polymer laboratory, enabling students to conduct fun and informative plastics experiments. ACMA is pleased to host the PlastiVan at the annual conference each year, exposing local students to the fundamentals of polymer science.
“We are very excited to build upon ACMA’s partnership with the Boy Scouts of America begun in 2006,” says ACMA President John Tickle. “We sincerely believe that having the composites industry reach out to students is one of the best things we can do to foster long-term interest in composites, helping to grow a pool of qualified composites professionals for the future.”
“By introducing the possibilities of composites to students in middle school and high school, ACMA is planting the seeds of exploration and innovation in the future,” Tickle continues. “These efforts will benefit both the students themselves and ACMA’s member companies who must compete with so many other industries for qualified workers.”
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