October 2008

Students to tour EXPO floor

As part of the Society's mission to inspire the next generation to become part of the automation field, a volunteer team for workforce development has joined together with the Automation Federation to establish iAU2M8.08, also known in laymen's terms as Automation Career Week at ISA EXPO 2008.

iAU2M8.08 is the first activity at ISA EXPO that directly targets high school and middle school students. One phase of the ISA Workforce Development effort is to interest young people in the fields of automation. "By showing young middle- and high-school students at EXPO what we as automation professionals do, and what we do is interesting, exciting, and a viable career path for them to consider, we hope to create a spark in these students to consider automation for their future career directions," said Dr. Gerald W. Cockrell, a professor at Indiana State University and ISA President-elect Secretary 2008.

The Workforce Development Committee is chaired by Cockrell along with Catherine Andrews, Mark Wainwright, Jake Jackson, Randy Buchanan, Debra Folse, Mary Canon, Mike Perron, Nick Sands, Declan Lordan, Alan McMurray, and Hugh Roser.

Nearly 300 high-school and middle-school math and science students from the Houston Independent School District will attend ISA EXPO on 16 October, participating in interactive exhibits from FIRST, Shell, and Yokogawa. The Junior Engineering Technical Society will provide literature for interested students.

Students will begin the afternoon with a keynote introduction about ISA EXPO to get them excited about science and math as it applies to the world of automation. Afterward, they will tour the interactive displays on the Mezzanine level of the Reliant Center with industry veterans. The high school students will tour the EXPO floor to see the latest innovative technology and how it applies to the world of automation. The middle-school math and science students will go on a guided tour of the interactive displays located outside Reliant Center.