Two groups of students from Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) recently visited Yeamans’ Machine Shop at 162 Eastgate Dr. to learn about precision machining and careers in advanced manufacturing.
“The kids in each group that came asked great questions,” Owner Pat Yeamans said. “It was nice to see their interest.”
The students are enrolled in the Advanced Engineering Design classes taught by Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) teacher Brent Collom. The visit to Yeamans’ Machine Shop is part of a broader effort to make school-to-work connections for students in middle and high schools and raise awareness of career opportunities right here in Los Alamos.
“All the trades desperately need workers,” Yeamans said.
While touring the machine shop, students learned how machinists turn drawings into precisely tooled parts made from a variety of metals.
The process involves measurements to the 0.001 of an inch and carefully sequenced processes that are like solving a puzzle. Students were impressed with the amount of material removed in the machining process and the number of steps involved.
Yeamans is the third-generation owner of the shop, and he supports Los Alamos teachers and students to build the next generation of machinists and technicians.
“I hope the field trip encouraged your students to look favorably on trades as a career option,” he said.
Yeamans can be optimistic because one 8th grader asked, “What classes should I take in high school to get a job here?”
“Students from middle school through early college benefit from Mr. Yeamans’ partnership with our schools,” Collom said. “Hosting our field trip is just the most visible collaboration. Yeamans is an important workforce partner for our middle school, high school, and early college technical programs. He supports students with mentoring and summer jobs, and he consults with staff on equipment to build industry relevant skills.”
Advanced Engineering Design students learn many skills valued by future employers, such as iterative design, drafting and problem solving. Students make projects with metal and wood, and they use a CNC router, too. Other career connections for this class include visits from the Los Alamos Police Department’s bomb squad robot and LANL’s “Spot” robot by Boston Dynamics.