Clear Creek Middle School brought a bus load of children and Ryan Eastabrook brought his son and daughter to the Center for Advanced Learning to celebrate national Manufacturing Day on Thursday, Oct. 1 with a big hands-on maker party. OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Ryan Eastabrook and his daughter, Rylie, 9, create paper circuits at the Center for Advanced Learnings Manufacturing Day last Thursday.

“We’re getting the kids an early taste of manufacturing,” said David Atherton, Clear Creek principal. “How many of my kids talked to an engineer today? This is great.”

CAL was a beehive of activity, with CAL students demonstrating the robot they built and giving the younger kids rides on the school’s flight simulator. A variety of manufacturing companies and groups hosted information tables and activities.

“I think it is great to have kids see what they can do, to use their creativity,” Eastabrook said. Brae, 12, and Rylie, “9 next week,” were looking over all the activities.

“I wanted to show them what this maker community is all about.”

The Eastabrook children headed for the “Tinker Camp” cardboard challenge. A gaggle of kids were carving big sheets of cardboard into fanciful creations “based on your inner superhero or your secret inner self.”

The International Association of Machinists and Boeing had an information booth. Daimler Trucks North America had a big, shiny, yellow truck parked out behind the school.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers brought a spiffy soapbox car and was talking to kids about engineering. Jeffrey Davis, who is a quality manager at Temco Engineered Products, Clackamas, and represented SME said “we want to let students know we are here, we are a resource.”

The Teeny Foods table was a popular spot. The local baking company was giving free samples of its mini cinnis, tiny little cinnamon treats.

The event was billed as “Makers Gone Pro, gearing up for a career in manufacturing.” CAL said “this event provides students and community members an opportunity to understand and learn about the world of making things, and how these activities relate to the Portland region’s robust manufacturing sector.”

CAL was the perfect spot to celebrate Manufacturing Day. It is a charter school that offers project-based, hands-on learning to 450 high school juniors and seniors.

The career-oriented, college-prep education also allows students to earn college credits from Mt. Hood Community College.

CAL accepts students from Reynolds, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial and Corbett school districts.

Founded 12 years ago, CAL offers four career areas of study: mechanical engineering and manufacturing; digital media and design; computer information systems; and health sciences, both medical and dental.

Students take their speciality classes and English at CAL and the rest of their classes at their home school.

CAL boasts two dental chairs, two 3-D printers, a flight simulator and lots of other high-technology career gear.

CAL actually celebrated a day early, this Manufacturing Day fell on Friday, Oct. 2. But, nobody seemed to mind the early commemoration.

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