STIHL Summer Camp Gives Teens Cutting-Edge Training

7/18/2014

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Nearly 40 area high school students attending the fourth annual STIHL Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp have a job to fulfill on an assembly line this week.
Teams will manufacture the speakers out of an array of parts, and members of the team that creates the best process win $1,000 scholarships to study STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - subjects after high school.

STIHL created the camp to give teens a creative experience in a manufacturing setting, said Christian Koestler, vice president of operations. The company chose campers through written essays and classroom grades. Each team started the four-day camp with $50,000 in play money.

High school seniors on a "supplier" team hustled in the back corner of the room to assemble kits including batteries and audio receivers for the teams producing the speakers. The fuel tank of STIHL's backpack blowers serves as the container for the components. Orange speaker grills and piston-shaped volume knobs are created on-site with a 3-D printer.

It's not just about speed. Teams must budget their money, and they have the opportunity to earn more throughout the camp and purchase additional parts. They will test their skills by building three wireless speakers before Saturday's two-hour competition to see who can produce the most with the best quality in a given time.

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