VIVES college students visiting Summa

The importance of technical skills within a business environment

In general, there is an acute shortage of technical profiles within many business industries. That is why the VIVES College organises technical courses, in an attempt to make practice-oriented studies more attractive and give our zealous generation of students the opportunity to learn about the importance of technology at a young age.

The school has been organising the courses in different Flemish municipalities and cities since 2013. During the technical courses, students from the 5th and 6th grade of primary school can choose to participate in a number of technical projects. By means of these projects they are submerged in as many technical sub-areas as possible: wood, mechanics, electricity, electronics, computer programming, chemistry, and construction.

As a business partner of the VIVES college, this year again, Summa fully supports the initiative. To put this into practice, a few weeks ago, Summa welcomed a number of eager and enthusiastic students of the technical academy.

During their visit to Summa, the students experienced the fascinating journey of everyday things, being cut with machines, such as those from Summa. Summa’s Product Engineer, Melanie, was driven to make the students understand processes better and trigger their interest in the discovery of how things are made. One of her examples involved traffic signs, which have a layer of reflective material with signalling on them. This layer of reflective material is very tough and special tools are needed to cut it to size. After this, the students already started to look at their surroundings differently.

The group was especially in awe of the demonstrations on our Summa roll cutters, reading the barcode swiftly and cutting stickers at a breathtaking pace.

Also, Summa’s flatbed finishing systems left a considerable impression on the students, if only by their sizes and the beam moving back and forth. But as soon as they witnessed how our laser machines, lasered a Summa logo on a wooden panel as fast as lightning, they really got excited. Our colleague, Randi, had to step up a gear or two to laser their names on the panel whilst covered with the student’s enthusiastic cheers.

At the end of the visit, the students were invited to fold their own boxes and bear masks, pimp them with colourful stickers and, of course, take them home with them.

Elice Van Es, Summa’s Marketing Communication Manager, comments: “Summa is very enthusiastic about this initiative and is proud to be able to contribute to it. The visit to Summa is a great opportunity to show the students how technology is intertwined with our daily lives. It is very rewarding to give the motivated 11 and 12-year-olds a look behind the scenes. Moreover, it helps them to become more aware of technology in their surroundings and to see the value of it.”

Research has shown the technical courses of VIVES college have a lot of impacts. Students, who took part, developed a problem-solving way of thinking and are more likely to opt for a technical profession later. Moreover, the technical courses will certainly help to optimally motivate young students and help them develop the most promising and flourishing career.