Students get chance to build a robot

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Caterpillar Inc. has an idea of how to recruit its own engineers and technology experts for the future.
Corinth remanufacturing plant manager John Mocny presented information about a student trainee program that will be open to Northeast Mississippi high-schoolers.
Mocny told a group of school district leaders assembled by the three-county TAP Alliance about the direct employment opportunities Caterpillar offers students to identify who might be interested in entering engineering or technical fields.
Students selected for the jobs would work a maximum of 10 hours per week after school and a regular 40-hour week during the summer, he said.
Mocny also encouraged the school leaders to become involved with the Mississippi BEST Robotics Competition based at Mississippi State University.
The program, he said, could spark student interest and excitement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and Caterpillar would provide support to competition teams.
Eric Heiselt and Lydia Allison of the Bagley School of Engineering at MSU presented details of the Mississippi BEST competition and answered questions.
The program involves a sports-like competition among teams building a robot, and no particular experience is required.
The competition begins Sept. 17, so schools, clubs, home-schooled students and any other groups are encouraged to register a team for free at www. robot events.com as soon as possible.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com