On February 26, seven Lowell High School students boarded a bus at 4:00 am to head to Indy to compete in the INTMA (Indiana National Tooling & Machining Association) held at the IVY Tech Campus in Indianapolis, IN. Lowell High school has never competed in any of the 18 yearly contests the INTMA has held in the past and we only heard about it 3 weeks prior to the event. Because of this, students and instructors did not know what to really expect at the event.
This year’s competition hosted 33 of Indiana’s best high school precision machining students, most of whom are from career centers, from around the state that have participated in this event for multiple years. Students were given the option to compete in one of two events, Manual Machining or CNC Programming. In the manual milling section, students were to complete 7 different common manual machine processes and take part in a standard test of their knowledge about manual machining. In the CNC programming section, students are given a part print, tool list, and material and are challenged to manually write the CNC G&M code to make the final part. Students have to make all the correct cutting speed and feed calculations and the correct coordinate pair points for the part. CNC participants also take part in a standard test of their knowledge of CNC Machining.
After 4 plus hours of practical machining, students are evaluated and scored. The top 6 in each section get various scholarships to Vincennes University. In addition, the top 3 place holders in each section are awarded precision machining tools as a prize. The student with the highest score in each sector also gets a “Traveling Trophy” to hold at their school until the next competition the following year.
Our own Red Devil Machinist Joshua Rech placed first and earned the Highest Score in the CNC Programming section at the competition. Lowell High School was awarded with the Traveling Trophy until next year. Josh was awarded with a $2000 scholarship, if he chooses, to attend Vincennes University. He was also awarded over $2000 in precision machining tools that he is able to use for his future career. Due to Josh winning the championship, the Lowell High School Precision machining program was awarded $1000 to help with future costs of the program.