Students explore manufacturing and technology careers at Auto STEAM Days – Macomb Daily

Students explore manufacturing and technology careers at Auto STEAM Days – Macomb Daily

Miriam Chapoton loves animals so she always imagined herself becoming a veterinarian.

But that could change.

“I might consider auto mechanics or engineering as a possible career,” said Chapoton, who was one of more than 2,000 middle school and high school students invited to explore careers in automotive technology and manufacturing during Macomb Community College’s Auto STEAM Days.

Chapoton also loves cars.

It’s a passion that she shares with her father, Stephen Chapoton, a roofer by trade but one who enjoys working on classic cars and hot rods. “I have an old Shelby Lancer that we’ve been working on together,” she said. “It’s a stick shift but we’re going to make it an automatic and add other new technology to it.”

“It’s going to be really cool,” she added, while pulling parts off an engine using an augmented reality (A/R) program provided by MCC. Chapton has worked on engines with her father so what she saw on the screen did not surprise or intimidate her. However, many of the students around her have never seen an engine let alone worked on one and the A/R program gave them the chance to do that.

“This helps students overcome their fear of technology and accelerates the learning process,” said Patrick Rouse, director of workforce and continuing education for engineering and advanced technology at MCC. “It’s hard to explain theory to a student who has never seen an engine or a robot.”

That’s where A/R comes in.

Students get acquainted with the technology on the screen and come to understand how things work better. The A/R technology is used for robotics and other fields of study including health care.Gone is the plastic skeleton with all of its bones and vital organs showing. Now medical students see the body through A/R technology.

“It’s been around for a while,” said Rouse, who was one of several people showing students some of the skills required for a variety of careers including coding.