Students and teachers at SCMS had a good reason to be excited when they were notified on December 17, 2021, just before winter break began, that they won the Manufacturing Camp Stem Challenge in which they had participated.

Select Business and Agriculture Career and Technical Education (CTE) Students at Luther Porter Jackson Middle School participated in a Manufacturing Camp and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) challenge for middle school students in grades 6 - 8.   The camp and corresponding STEM challenge provided an opportunity for students to learn about manufacturing and why it is a great career choice. 

School divisions were allowed to register one student team to participate in the manufacturing camp, and during the course of the project students received presentations and training with InSource, the manufacturing company sponsoring the activity along with John Tyler Community College. Surry County Public Schools was one of 5 school divisions with a team to participate in the program and challenge through hands-on activities. 

All teams were given the same challenge to create a business, develop a product, and attempt to gain investors through a Shark Tank like presentation experience.  LPJ’s CTE student team included nine 8th grade students who were subdivided into technical and business members. The technical members of the team programmed a weather station device, and the business members developed a business called The Streather Alert.

Business members also had to create a business logo and develop a presentation to convince executives from the local business community to invest in their Streather product and service.  The Streather Alert business focused on designing a device for individuals to physically wear around their neck like a necklace or use as an application on their smartphones to detect inclement weather nearby.  The inspiration for the Streather Alert was born from the students’ creativity and focus around the agricultural community in Surry County and protecting crops in inclement weather. 

The Streather alert is unique in that it does not require technology, radio, or television to receive inclement weather alerts and individuals can wear the alert device in much the same way that individuals wear Life Alert products. 

Students will receive gifts from InSource in the upcoming weeks for their hard work and dedication to the Manufacturing Camp and STEM challenge.