Hannover Messe Brings Innovative Ideas to THINC
LAGRANGE — The latest innovations in technology may be coming to THINC students by way of Germany.
Representatives from Troup County’s THINC College and Career Academy recently got a firsthand look at some of the world’s most advanced industrial technology at the Hannover Messe trade fair in Hannover, Germany.
“What makes this trade fair so important is that literally all of the world’s leading industrial technology vendors and education providers are represented there,” said THINC Principal Chris Williams, who attended the event along with THINC mechatronics instructor Joe Sumner. “The opportunity to see cutting-edge technology and to see it in action on so many levels is impressive. We were able to gather a ton of ideas for projects and training that we can implement here at THINC.
“THINC’s goal is to prepare students for high-demand, high-wage careers. So it’s vital for our programs to continuously evaluate our curriculum, equipment and instruction to ensure that we’re providing the most up-to-date experience possible for our students.”
At Hannover Messe, Williams and Sumner were able to see many different applications in industrial technology, ranging from simple “pick and place” automated robotic systems to much more complex systems like autonomous robots that were able to roam the trade show floor interacting with people.
In addition to attending the trade fair, Williams and Sumner were invited to tour FESTO Corporation’s facility in Stuttgart, Germany. An equipment and solution provider for industrial education, FESTO paid the expenses for THINC to visit Hannover Messe in support of the academy’s focus on industrial technology.
“Going to FESTO’s manufacturing facility was actually the highlight of the trip for me,” said Williams. “We were able to see all of the concepts that are taught in mechatronics in action. Again, we got a ton of project ideas that we plan to implement at THINC. And it gave us some great ideas on how to tie in our other CTE (career technical education) programs more closely with mechatronics.”
The THINC team also visited one of Germany’s leading technical school for mechatronics.
“What THINC academy offers in our mechatronics program was definitely on par with their program,” said Williams. “We gathered so many ideas that can be implemented not just in our mechatronics program, but also in the architecture, engineering, healthcare, business and marketing programs. There are several applications where our core content instructors can also get involved with our career programs on co-curricular projects.”
THINC, which is open to Troup County 10th through 12th graders, currently has 44 mechatronics students out of 474 enrolled students for the 2015-16 school year. The academy also offers pathways in the areas of business, healthcare, engineering, marketing, energy and architecture/design.