Thursday, August 2, 2012

GADgET Girls Visit Century Metal Spinning Company

GADgET Girls in Century Metal Spinning's Conference Room

On July 24th, the GADgET Girls Camp (Girls Adventuring in Design Engineering and Technology) visited and took a tour at Century Metal Spinning Company. The girls camp, based in River Grove, IL, is run by Antigone Sharris, an instructor at Triton College, who worked at Century Metal Spinning in high school. The camp is funded partially by Triton College and by the Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs Foundation of The Fabricators & Manufacturing Association, International. The goal of the camp is to expose young girls to opportunities in manufacturing that they may have never considered, and encourage them to pursue technical careers where women are underrepresented.  The week long camp takes the girls to different manufacturing companies where they meet the workers and have the opportunity to operate some of the machines. Along with factory visits, the girls engineer and construct different objects throughout the week, working with materials such as wood, metal, foam board, fiber glass, and PVC pipes.

CMM, coordinate measuring machine, Gadget Girls, Century Metal spinning, Nuts bolts and thingamajigs
Learning how a CMM operates

At their visit to Century Metal Spinning, the GADgET girls began their day in a ‘board meeting’ to learn about the metal spinning process. Janet Kaiser, Century Metal Spinning Company’s president, led the group. She talked to them about different applications for metal spinning, the industries it is used in, and all of the various products that can be produced.

Gadget Girls, Century Metal Spinning, Spun Metal, metal spinnig process, Nuts Bolts and thingamajigs
GADgET Girls on the factory floor

After learning about the industry, the girls were shown how engineering and computer programs are used to design each product. That was followed with how the finished pieces are inspection and the use of advanced technology. The next part of the tour took the girls through the plant. They viewed demonstrations on how to use the machines and the processes involved to create a final product. The girls had an opportunity to use some of the metal spinning machines with the assistance of a staff member. At the end of the day, they completed a small aluminum bowl, and were able to see first-hand the many different aspects and opportunities in this branch of manufacturing.

Gadget Girls, Century Metal Spinning Company, Nuts Bolts and Thingamajigs
GADgET Girls Camp outside Century Metal Spinning Company

After finishing their visit at Century Metal Spinning, the girls visited a second woman owned factory in the area, ACE Metal Craft. Visit their website here.

For more information on supporting career awareness efforts like this camp, visit the foundation's website at:

To learn more or to support GADgET Girls Camp, please contact Antigone Sharris, Triton College, River Grove, IL directly at: