Students take part in CLC Nitro-X camp
The Central Lakes College Nitro-X camp recently showed 17 area middle school students hands-on lessons in transportation technology. The second annual camp ran June 19-23 and allowed students to work on remote-controlled cars, as well as learn ho...
The Central Lakes College Nitro-X camp recently showed 17 area middle school students hands-on lessons in transportation technology.
The second annual camp ran June 19-23 and allowed students to work on remote-controlled cars, as well as learn how vehicles work, build their confidence with technical skills, work in teams to develop life and employability skills and gain exposure to the industry by going on tours of local businesses.
They painted their own Traxxas Revo 3.3 truck bodies, which they raced June 23 to cap off the camp. The event is in partnership with the Minnesota Transportation Center.
"They learned teamwork and problem-solving by working in teams of two throughout the week in a fun atmosphere," said Paul Hofmann, a camp mentor and CLC marine and small engine technology instructor, in a news release. "They also learned about some great-paying career opportunities right in our own community that do not require four years of college."
Throughout the week, Nitro-X campers designed their own truck body, which was used for the race day at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds. When they weren't designing or racing, the students toured area businesses. At Midwest Machinery, students learned about jobs in the lawn and garden industry, rode John Deere utility vehicles and took a beach ball through an obstacle course with a leaf blower.
At The Bodyworks, Mills GM and Mills Auto Xtreme they learned about automotive careers. They saw technicians doing their jobs, including a demonstration of changing a tire and balancing it. Mills Auto Xtreme also made sponsor stickers for the campers to use on their own custom painted truck bodies.
At Ziegler Cat, they saw what it's like to be a diesel technician. They got to climb into many pieces of heavy equipment and operate a backhoe. Ziegler Cat also donated the use of equipment, which enabled CLC heavy equipment students to build an off-road track at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds for the race.
Corey Hins, Nitro-X camp mentor and CLC IT systems administrator, said the experience of touring area businesses is important for these young minds.
"It is important to see the available jobs in which they can be locally educated and locally employed," he said. "Doesn't everyone want to live and work in the awesome Brainerd lakes area?"