South Georgia mechatronics lab lets students go high tech - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia mechatronics lab lets students go high tech

Many robots are built and run inside the Tift County High School mechatronics lab. Many robots are built and run inside the Tift County High School mechatronics lab.
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

One of the best high school mechatronics labs in the country is in South Georgia.

Representatives from Georgia Tech toured the facility earlier in the week with hopes to replicate the lab.

Many robots are built and run inside the Tift County High School mechatronics lab.

Instructor Joe Sumner built the program from the ground up and looks forward to teaching new faces each year.

"I enjoy seeing the students come in, the look of wonder and the look of amazement and new things that they have looking forward to learning," said Sumner.

He also enjoys watching his students succeed.

"Seeing the students graduate from that and the program and the excitement that comes with completing this but also looking to complete their post secondary plans as well," he continued.

Tift county is the reigning state champion in the Skills USA competition and they will try to maintain their title in a few weeks.

"We will be taking a group of approximately 30 students to Atlanta to compete against other high schools and areas such as robotics and mechatronics all over the state of Georgia," Sumner explained.

This program is well-known across the state for their success, and senior Carlos Diaz is the Skills USA state president.

He says this class is 85 percent hands on which allows him to learn more efficiently.

"You have robots in front of you, you can't just pass a test by looking at a robot, you really have to get into it, put your hands on it, program it, and learn the math and physics behind it," said Diaz.

He says this class allows him to see the outcome of real world products.

"Here you see actual equipment being used that's used in industry," said Sumner.

Students who pass the course can receive both high school and college credit through Moultrie Tech... plus up to three certifications.

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