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Neshoba Central receives $68,703 grant for engineering, robotics

Image of engineering students working on a project

Students Isabella May, Paisley Lovern and Gabe Ellingburg work together in their first-year engineering class at Neshoba Central.

By Debbie Burt Myers

Neshoba Central High School’s Engineering and Robotics Program will soon have a commercial-sized 3D printer and other new equipment thanks to a $68,703 grant from AccelerateMS.

Neshoba was one of only 25 high schools and districts across the state to receive a share of the approximately $1.4 million to career and technical education efforts, aimed to empower students by aligning their education with future careers or post-secondary education programs.

Dana McLain, Neshoba Central’s work-based learning program coordinator, said students will “not only gain exposure by working with various equipment to prepare them to enter directly into the workforce, but they will also gain experience as they prepare to enter post-secondary education opportunities.”

McLain said the goal of the grant is to provide more support to business and industry leaders.

“What we purchased will help our local workforce by better training our students in engineering and robotics,” she said. “Students will know what is expected of them when they enter the workforce.”

McLain said the commercial printer will expose students to larger scale printing throughout the job market.

What’s more, students will now have their own robotics station where they will work with coding and creating their own robot and its usage.

“We know that Artificial Intelligence is at the forefront of our society, so it is crucial to expose students to these capabilities,” McLain said.

“Students entering the workforce with experience in AI and robotics literacy will be more competitive. Our local business owners will have future employees who are more educated. They will come to them with a good foundation.”

AccelerateMS serves the people and businesses of Mississippi by developing and deploying workforce strategies to connect individuals with transformative, high-paying careers.