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There Hasn’t Been Enough Push to Pull Teens into Manufacturing

See how a 17-year-old high school student views robotics, engineering and manufacturing.

Ep8 65b9153852e5e
Eric Sorensen

Ava Raugust, a 17-year-old bilingual agriscientist and engineer, joined the Gen Z in Manufacturing podcast's latest episode to discuss her robotics and engineering experience and what keeps high school students from pursuing manufacturing careers.

Raugust is currently a high school senior in California, where she is the president and co-founder of her high school’s robotics team. Her experiences and accomplishments include an internship with DPR Construction, a first place finish in the high school division of the SME Digital Manufacturing Challenge and, most recently, recognition by SME as one of the 2023 “30 Under 30” honorees.

After high school, Raugust plans to pursue a four-year undergraduate degree in civil engineering and possibly a minor in environmental engineering.

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Robotics played a significant role in attracting Raugust to engineering and manufacturing. However, she admitted that better marketing is needed to reach the younger generation.

“There hasn’t been enough push to pull younger people into [manufacturing],” Raugust said. “I, for example, only found out about [SME] because I was scrolling through engineering newsletters. I don’t think a lot of high schoolers just scroll through email newsletters. There should be another incentive to get the younger generation more involved.” 

Also in the episode, Raugust discusses women in manufacturing and engineering and the debate between four-year degrees and trade/vocational schools.

Gen Z in Manufacturing Episodes

If you are a member of Gen Z and would like to discuss your experience in the manufacturing industry, please contact Nolan Beilstein at [email protected].

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