OGDEN — Standing near a metal shear nearly as big as a household appliance, a teenage girl asks the question likely on everyone’s mind: “Can that cut your fingers off?”

It’s a legitimate question considering the size and horsepower of the industrial metal cutter in Weber State University’s welding lab.

Mark Baugh, professor of manufacturing engineering technology professor, assures the group that the department has an excellent safety record and “we intend to keep it that way.”

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Participants get geared up for Girls’ Welding Camp: The Art & Science of Metalwork at Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

Bit by bit, the academics leading WSU’s third-annual girls welding camp labors to build teenage girls’ confidence and skills, and open their eyes to the possibility of careers that require the skills of welding or any variety of metalworking machines and associated technologies they learn to use.

The camp is sponsored by John Deere with an eye on diversifying its workforce, which is predominately male, Baugh said.

The student body in manufacturing engineering is likewise male dominated, so another goal of the camp is to break down perceived barriers to enrolling in engineering technology coursework, he said.

“That’s what we’re trying to get to in camp — and just have fun,” he said.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Emily Curtis, front, and Breeanna Workman listen to instruction during Girls’ Welding Camp: The Art & Science of Metalwork at Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Girls grab welding helmets as they begin Girls’ Welding Camp: The Art & Science of Metalwork at Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

To hear veteran camper Kenna Nieman tell it, welding is “scary but it’s fun. You’re harnessing the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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