Area teens will get hands-on vocational and technical training at GI-TEC’s summer camp – The Morning Sun

Teens entering seventh, eighth and ninth grades will have the chance to participate in a variety of programs at the Gratiot Isabella Technical Education Center (GI-TEC) summer camp this month.

More than 90 students from eight schools in Gratiot and Isabella counties are participating in the June 13-16 camp at GI-TEC, which is located at Mount Pleasant High School. The camp is free for students thanks to a $20,000 “Color a Brighter Tomorrow” grant from the Sherwin-Williams Foundation.

“We are excited to open our students’ eyes to the training and education resources and opportunities available to them and support their career path exploration,” said Mary Kay Voeks, Director of GI-TEC. “This camp exposes students to career expectations and skills in a fun educational environment where they will learn foundational skills with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art, and math, or STEAM. “

GI-TEC certified teachers will lead camp sessions on digital media, business management, cooking, design, automotive, graphic arts and medical careers.

The Digital Media Camp program is led by Digital Media/Web Instructor Patrick Onstott and gives a brief introduction to different digital media like animation, photoshop, video production, streaming and podcasting among other media.

Teenagers learn about different types of digital media during the digital media program at Gratiot Isabella Technical Training Center (GI-TEC) summer camp. (Sarah Wright – The Morning Sun)

“We stuff it in four days,” Onstott said. “Everyone came as novices and with practice we hope we will get them excited about the GI-TEC program.”

For the drawing camp program, CAD/Drafting Instructor Aaron Kipfmiller helped students design and 3D print pine derby cars that campers could race at the end of camp.

“Students will capture the designs on paper, then adjust their designs as needed before the designs are transferred to software that will 3D print the cars,” Kipfmiller said. “It takes 8-10 hours to print the cars.”

Technical Drawing/CAD Instructor Aaron Kipfmiller helps students design pine derby cars during the drawing program at the Gratiot Isabella Technical Education Center (GI-TEC) summer camp.  (Sarah Wright - The Morning Sun)
Technical Drawing/CAD Instructor Aaron Kipfmiller helps students design pine derby cars during the drawing program at the Gratiot Isabella Technical Education Center (GI-TEC) summer camp. (Sarah Wright – The Morning Sun)

The car camp program is led by car technology instructor Perry Wiles, who has helped kids learn about the inner workings of cars.

“We’re trying to familiarize the students with some of the components of the car,” Wiles said.

As part of the auto camp, local Mt. Pleasant NAPA Auto Parts also donated tool kits for kids to take home.

While GI-TEC received a grant in 2019, the camp was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About half of the grant funds the camp, while the rest paid for vocational and technical training materials, including a power sander for construction, 12 3D printers, a drone, video equipment and interior decoration materials. The center plans to seek additional grants to continue offering the camp at no cost to families in the future.

“GI-TEC is a wonderful resource for public school students in Mt. Pleasant and other districts in Gratiot and Isabella counties, and this summer camp is a great opportunity for our young students to get a taste of the types skills they can learn if they enroll in the GI-TEC program as high school seniors,” said Jennifer Verleger, Superintendent of Mt. Pleasant Public Schools. of our students to success after graduation and helping to fill the talent pool.”

For more information, visit gi-tec.com.

About Sandy Fletcher

Check Also

Times Network bolsters digital business with key appointments

Times Network today announced the appointment of Rohit Chadda as President and COO – Digital …