On Saturday, 26th October, 2019, four engineering students of Jackson Public Schools' Career Development Center participated in the Nissan STEP (Student Technology Exchange Program) Family Day. These students showcased what they had learned in the school's laboratory by programming the Fanuc 2000iA robot to churn ice cream for an audience during the Nissan Family Day Fair.
After winning first place at the Nissan STEP Competition earlier this year, the students exhibited the skills they acquired by demonstrating how they were able to program the robot's arm to move in a circulation motion and using the robot's 6th axis to hold onto the handle of a churning bowl. As the robot arm moved in a circular motion, it would churn the ice cream in the bowl. These students made nine bowls of ice cream, which fed about a hundred people.
Femi Ooloko, Engineering/Robotics Instructor at the Career Development Center said, "Preparing for this event has been very engaging in my laboratory. I am particularly impressed with my students' enthusiasm and willingness to learn and make things happen. Like I use to remind them, that regardless of the challenges to solve any problem, engineers don't give up, and that has been our watch phrase. They learned that engineering design processes encompass a mindset that emphasizes open-ended problem solving and encourage them to learn from failure. Experiencing the engineering design process nurtures their abilities to create innovative solutions to challenges in any subject."
CAVS-E offers a STEP program, created in 2005, which provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities for middle and high school students by implementing a challenging curriculum to help them obtain the education and skills needed for in-demand jobs and to create a pipeline for manufacturing employers, such as Nissan, for high-demand, middle-skilled positions. Participants of the CAVS-E's STEP course are also given the opportunity to complete an online FANUC Corporation certification, a national certification for robotics and advanced automation manufacturing.
With the help of a FANUC LR Mate 200iC in the Career Development Center's engineering laboratory, the Jackson Public Schools students were able to repeatedly practice the circular motion needed to improve their programming skills, enhancing their confidence in fulfilling their ice cream churning project.