This summer may mark a turning point in the lives of 60 middle schoolers who are taking part in Pellissippi State Community College’s Manufacturing and Coding Academy.
The rising sixth graders from Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier and Union counties are learning about the world of advanced manufacturing, robotics and cyber security.
The four-week program provided the young participants with ideas about careers that are in high demand and provide good wages. The academy was held at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus and was sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC through a grant from the CNS Y-12 Community Investment Fund.
Bill Tindal, Y-12 site manager, was on hand recently to watch the students in action and said he could not be more pleased with the program and what it offers these children.
“You could see the excitement in their eyes as they worked the computer or a robot they’d programmed,” Tindal said. “The academy provided these children with a learning experience they won’t soon forget, and I’m happy that CNS and Y-12 could be part of that.”
Tindal also gave the sixth graders some advice. “Work hard and learn as much as you can,” he said. “And if it starts to get difficult, embrace it, because that’s where you learn the most.”
Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise said the academy has exceeded everyone’s expectations. “We are grateful for everyone’s support in this endeavor,” he said. “Together, we are helping young students to set goals for college attainment.”
The partners included the East Tennessee Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley, the Emerald Youth Foundation, the Great Schools Partnership and Project Grad.