Smartforce Student Summit

Manufacturing Brighter Futures

Student Summit Offers Hands-on Challenges

During the show, a record number of more than 17,000 students, parents and educators visited the Smartforce Student Summit, which offered nine challenges, each designed for students to discover and use technologies utilized in advanced manufacturing, including CAD/CAM software, robotics, 3D printing, machining, tooling, metrology, automation and welding.

“Students were able to do so much more than observe and interact. They could actually use the technology in a way that gave them a real-world preview of the industry and various manufacturing careers,” says Greg Jones, Vice President, Smartforce Development, AMT.

In the “Build It!” area, experienced teams of mechatronics students (those with mechanical and electronic skills) worked with waterjet experts from WARDJet to plan, wire, wrench and assemble a high-end waterjet system. Winners of the build-off competition received an $85K waterjet for their school’s machining lab.

Thank You for Attending!

You've inspired industry leaders and our exhibit partners and your interaction with us has made the tenth student summit at IMTS a tremendous success! Please check back for updates and of course, we'll be sending you more information on how you can continue to engage in the Challenges from the student summit with project based learning assignments in your classroom.

Career Launch Pad for Community College and Engineering School Students

The Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2016 has added a career fair, the Smartforce Career Launch Pad for students in career & technical education programs, community colleges and engineering schools. If you’re nearing workforce readiness and searching for an internship or a job, then use this link to register for the student summit and the career launch pad. Once you’ve registered, you can upload your resume to to connect with companies, set up interviews, etc.

More Information

Watch the Welcome/Orientation Video

FIRST  Theater Events

Attend events in the FIRST  Theater at the Smartforce Student Summit (Room N-227, North Building, McCormick Place) to learn more about STEAM competitions, challenges, and scholarships as well as mentor-based, research and robotics programs and educational tech programs to spur economic development.

View Schedule

Student Challenges

The Smartforce Student Summit offers a fun and interactive experience through nine challenges for students to discover and use some of the technologies utilized in advanced manufacturing.

Design It! Use Autodesk Fusion 360 software to design and create models of Googie (space-age) style rockets
Make It! Make a 3D printed rocket through one of three options, and test rockets in our one-of-a-kind special air power flight-test tower.
Tool It! See how manufacturing affects virtually everything you touch — from aircraft and automobiles to smart phones, computers and more.
Machine It! Discover how to machine Googie-style rockets on the Haas ST-10 and a Haas VF-2.
Measure It! Learn to operate a ZEISS DuraMax coordinate measuring machine and run the CNC measurement program to find out if your design makes the grade.
Automate It! Operate machine components and parts with a robotic arm and grippers.
Weld It! Test welding ability, knowledge, and speed using the Lincoln Electric® RealWeld® Trainer.
Weld It with Robots! Navigate a robot through a realistic welding obstacle course.
Build It! Experienced mechatronics student teams will go against teams of industry professionals in a WARDJet waterjet cutting machine build-off competition for a chance to win a waterjet for their school’s machining lab.

Challenge Details  Summit Brochure